23rd May 2014
John Birnie Philip (1824–1875) trained as a sculptor with Augustus Pugin, working on the Palace of Westminster before beginning his own studio. Philip was often employed by the architect George Gilbert Scott on important public sculptures such as the figures on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Whitehall. Philip also worked on the Albert Memorial and many churches and cathedrals including York and Canterbury and chapels such as the Chapel of Exeter College, Oxford. Philip’s last work was the statue erected to commemorate Edward Akroyd’s retirement as an MP.
John Lockwood Kipling was Philip’s apprentice and he was related by marriage to Edward Burne Jones. Philip’s daughter, Constance, married the artist Cecil Gordon Lawson. Another daughter, Beatrix, worked as a designer in the office of the architect EW Godwin (who was a disciple of William Morris and a well-connected figure within the Arts & Crafts Movement). After Godwin’s death, Beatrix later married the artist James Whistler.