Ursula Ulalia Edgcumbe
Other names: Blackham
Died 8 February 1985
Active: 1916 - 1985
Country of birth and death: England
Born in Sandy, Bedfordshire. She was the daughter of Sir Robert Pearce-Edgcumbe (1851-1929) who had a varied career as a barrister, banker, politician, company director and pioneer of the small holdings movement and assumed the additional name of Edgcumbe by Royal Warrant in 1884. Ursula studied at the Slade School of Art with James Havard Thomas from 1916 until his death in 1921. After this she turned to architectural carving usually working in wood or stone.
Amongst her early commissions were a fireplace frieze in Painswick stone for Bibury Court, Gloucestershire and the war memorial at Zennor which Kineton Parkes described as 'one of the most significant of the British war memorials'. It was carved in the local granite and comprised a high relief of Shadrach, Meshach and Abdegno in flames. This frieze surmounted a column designed by the architect, George L. Kennedy.
In 1932 Edgcumbe was a founder member of the Cooperative Sculptors in Manchester, a group that aimed to promote collaboration between sculptors and architects. Between the wars she exhibited with the Women's International, the London Group, New English Art Club, the National Society of Painters, Sculptors, Engravers and Potters and the Arts and crafts Exhibition Society. Edgcumbe had a solo exhibition at the Leger Galleries, London in April 1936.
After the Second World War she turned to painting and for the next thirty or more years, until declining health forced her to give up, Edgcumbe created pictures of birds, and also industrial and architectural subjects. There was a posthumous retrospective of her paintings and sculpture at the Gillian Jason Gallery, London, in 1986.
This record includes information from J.A. Venn, 'Alumni Cantabrigienses', London, Cambridge University Press, 1922-1954.
Wealth at death: £43,526 0s. 0d.
Probate date: 6 August 1985
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Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at Leeds City Art Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, 1927
Institutional and Business Connections
Member of The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society: Members and Craftsmen
Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, Leeds City Art Gallery 1927
Cat. No. 330, pp. 23, 26
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
RG14PN6697 RG78PN333 RD125 SD1 ED13 SN1
England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1916-2005
Name: Ursula U Edgcumbe Spouse Surname: Blackham Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1977 Registration district: Fulham Inferred County: London Volume Number: 12 Page Number: 0595 Find Spouse: Find Spouse
Find a Will
Name: Ursula Ulalia Blackham Date Probate Granted: 6 August 1985 p. 769
The Art of Carved Sculpture: Central and Northern Europe
pp. 102-3 and illustration facing page 101
The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
The Times, Thursday, Feb 21, 1985; pg. 14; Issue 62068; col G Miss Ursula Edgcumbe Category: Obituaries
Citing this record
'Ursula Ulalia Edgcumbe', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib5_1213204652, accessed 10 Oct 2015]