Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Durham, Joseph

DURHAM, JOSEPH (1814–1877), sculptor, born in London in 1814, was apprenticed to John Francis, decorative carver; afterwards worked for three years in the studio of E. H. Bailey, R.A. [q. v.], and exhibited his first piece of sculpture in the Royal Academy in 1835. His busts of Jenny Lind (1848) and of Queen Victoria (1856) attracted much attention. A statue by him of Sir Francis Crossley was erected at Halifax. He executed four statues for the portico of London University in Burlington Gardens, and the stone effigy of the prince consort set up in 1863 in the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society at Kensington as a memorial of the Great Exhibition of 1851. One of his finest works was a ‘Leander and the Syren,’ exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1875. His statues entitled ‘Hermione’ and ‘Alastor’ were purchased for the Mansion House. He became an associate of the Royal Academy in 1866, and died, after much suffering, in London on 27 Oct. 1877. Between 1835 and 1878 one hundred and twenty-six pieces of sculpture by Durham were exhibited at the Royal Academy, and six at the British Institution. He was especially noted for his figures of boys engaged in athletic exercises, like football, cricket, racing, and boating. But though his work was always graceful, it showed no signs of great genius.

[Redgrave's Dict. of English Artists; Athenæum, 3 Nov. 1877, pt. ii. p. 571; Academy, 3 Nov. 1877, pt. ii. p. 439; Graves's Dict. of Artists.]