Biographical sketch of Joseph Edgar Boehm

Date Created

c. 1884


Frederick George Stephens (1828-1907), author and editor


F. G. Stephens, Artists at Home, photographed by J. P. Mayall and reproduced in facsimile by photoengraving on copper plates; edited, with biographical notes and descriptions, by Frederick George Stephens (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington; New York: Appleton & Co., 1884), pp. 73-75.


Boehm, Joseph Edgar, 1st Baronet of Wetherby Gardens (1834-1890), English-Hungarian sculptor and medalist

Date Issued

July 1884


Boehm was born to Hungarian parents in Vienna, where his father, Daniel Boehm, was the Director of the Imperial Mint. Boehm's first appearance in London was with a bust made of terracotta, which attracted enormous attention, and he rapidly gained favor among aristocrats and royalty. He became the Sculptor in oOrdinary to Queen Victoria. Many of his notable works included Duke of Kent, “he Queen, Thomas Carlyle, and The Princess Alice and Her Daughters, executed in marble, bronze, and terra-cotta. Currently, Boehm is finishing up a colossal statue of Darwin for the Natural History Museum.

Is Referenced By

[ F. G. Stephens] “Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, Bart., R.A.” The Athenaeum, no. 3295 (December 20, 1890): 861.


The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by the National Gallery of Art.




Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Omeka record contributed by Albertine Lee

Date Submitted

September 28, 2016

Date Modified

November 17, 2016
January 17, 2017, by LM






THIS able sculptor, who, although he has hardly yet passed the middle of the life artistic, has already produced more public statues than any artist of this country, from Flaxman to Foley, was born of Hungarian parents at Vienna, on the 6th of July, 1834.  He was educated in the Austrian capital, where his father, Herr Daniel Boehm, Director of the Imperial Mint, and a design-loving man of much distinction, had formed a considerable collection of works of art amid which his son found ample opportunities for gaining knowledge of antiquity.  In 1848, having been brought to this country, he worked from the Elgin Marbles and other relics of antiquity in the British Museum.  He remained here till 1851, when he removed to Italy for a while, after which for three years he continued to study in Paris.  Intermediately, he was in Vienna, where he obtained the First Imperial Prize in 1856.  In 1862 he settled in London, and in 1865 became a naturalized Englishman.

            His first appearance in London was a modest one, and by means of “A Bust of a Gentleman, in terra-cotta,” which was at the Royal Academy in 1862.  Terra-cotta was a material little affected by the modellers a quarter of a century ago, so that this work attracted attention on that account, as well as by means of its intrinsic merits.  Another example in this material appeared at the same gallery in 1863, being a portrait of “C. Bowyer, Esq.”  With it were produced statuettes of “Mr. and Mrs. Millais.”  The artist rose so rapidly in popularity and aristocratic favour, that the next Academy Exhibition contained not fewer than six of his works, among which a bronze equestrian statuette of “Miss Edwards,” a statuette of “W. M. Thackeray,” and a racehorse named “Johnny Armstrong,” were recognized with favour.  The statuettes were harbingers of a numerous class of similar works.  A marble bust of “Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe,” and a bronze group in small of “Mr. William Russell and a favourite Horse,” appeared with other works in 1865.

            From a constantly increasing number of sculptures contributed to the Academy may be selected the following more important instances:  “Lady Spencer;” “Colonel Loyd- {74} Lindsay, V.C.;” “The Duke of Beaufort;” “The Countess of Cardigan;” “H. M. The Queen,” terra-cotta statuette; “Monsieur Ricard, painter;” “General C. Grey;” “Alphonse Legros, Esq.;” “The Marquis of Lansdowne,” a bust for Westminster Abbey; “The Prince of Wales;” “The Horse and his Master;” “The Queen,” marble; “Thomas Carlyle,” a marble statue for Lord Rosebery; “St. George and the Dragon,” a statue; busts of “Sir Henry Cole,” “Professor Hewitt,” and “E. Armitage, R.A.;” “A Colossal Equestrian Statue of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales,” for Bombay, as well as similar works representing “Lord Napier of Magdala,” for Calcutta, and “Lord John Russell,” for the Houses of Parliament; busts of “Professor John Ruskin,” “Mr. (Sir) F. Burton,” “The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone,” and “Professor Huxley.”  Then came “Thomas Carlyle,” a statue in bronze for Chelsea; “Sir Francis Drake,” a statue for Tavistock, and another of the same navigator for Plymouth; “J. E. Millais, R.A.,” bust; a statue of “The late Archbishop of Canterbury,” for Canterbury Cathedral; “The Earl of Derby,” bust; “Lord Wolseley,” bust; “Herbert Spencer,” bust; and portraits of “Lord Shaftesbury,” “Mr. John Bright,” and “Mr. Mundella.”

            In addition to these exhibited works Mr. Boehm has executed a monument to the late Duke of Kent, for St. George’s Chapel, Windsor; “John Bunyan,” a colossal statue in bronze, for Bedford; “The Duchess of Bedford,” a colossal statue, for Woburn Abbey; “Sir John Burgoyne,” an heroic statue, for Waterloo Place; “Lord Cardigan,” at Deene; “The Earl of Northbrook,” for Calcutta; “The King of the Belgians,” for St. George’s Chapel; “Sir W. Gregory,” for Colombo, Ceylon; “The Princess Alice and her Daughters,” a monument group for the Frogmore Mausoleum; an effigy of “The Prince Imperial,” intended for Westminster Abbey, which was set up at Windsor; a statue of “John Lord Lawrence,” for Waterloo Place; “W. Tyndall,” statue for the Northern Embankment; and other figures of “Lord Beaconsfield,” “Lord Stratford de Redcliffe,” and “Dean Stanley,” for Westminster Abbey; “Dean Stanley,” for Rugby School Chapel; “Dean Duncombe,” for York Minster; and “The Duchess of Westminster.”  Besides these there is a very numerous array of busts, statues, statuettes, reliefs, and other works representing persons of less reputation than the above, and executed in marble, bronze, and terra-cotta.

            At present the artist is engaged on a second statue of “Lord Lawrence,” for Waterloo Place, a substitute for the present one with which he is dissatisfied.  He is now finishing a colossal statue of “Darwin,” to be set up in the Natural History Museum at South Kensington, a statue of “Sir Ashley Eden,” for Calcutta, and an effigy of the late “Prince Leopold,” for the Albert Chapel at Windsor.  He is preparing designs for the equestrian statue of the “Duke of Wellington,” for Hyde Park Corner.  A marble statue of the late “Duke of Marlborough,” for Blenheim, and a marble effigy of the late “Dean Wellesley,” for St. George’s, Windsor, are nearly finished. {75}         

            Mr. Boehm was elected an A.R.A. on the 16th January, 1878; an R.A. in January, 1882; a Member of the Academy of Florence in 1875; and of the Academy of Rome in 1880.  In Paris, at the Exposition Universelle, 1878, he obtained a Second Class Medal.  In August, 1882, he received a gold medal for his contributions to the exhibition at Vienna in that year.  Mr. Boehm has lectured on sculpture at the Royal Academy, although he has not accepted the long vacant Professorship of the art in that institution.

            In the background of the portrait is a bust of Professor Huxley.


Original Format

Book pages





Frederick George Stephens (1828-1907), author and editor


Cite As

Frederick George Stephens (1828-1907), author and editor , “JOSEPH EDGAR BOEHM, R.A.,” Victorian Artists at Home, accessed May 26, 2024,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: J. E. BOEHM, R.A.
Item: Boehm, Joseph Edgar dcterms:relation This Item
Item: The Avenue, Studios of J. E. Boehm and E. J. Poynter dcterms:relation This Item
Item: Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt dcterms:relation This Item
Item: Thomas Carlyle dcterms:isReferencedBy This Item