What's a box of chocolates got to do with this soldier? The great British art quiz


This quiz is brought to you in collaboration with Art UK, the online home for the UK’s public art collections, showing art from more than 3,000 venues, by 45,000 artists. Each day, a different collection on Art UK will set the questions. 

Today, our questions are set by FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio in County Down, Northern Ireland, established in 2008 to celebrate the work of Banbridge-born sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam (1909-92). McWilliam worked in London, where he established a reputation as one of the most significant sculptors of his generation. Initially associated with surrealism, his sculptures in wood, stone and bronze are primarily figurative and often playful. 

You can see art from FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio on Art UK here. Find out more on the gallery’s website.

Altnagelvin hospital in Derry was the first NHS hospital to be built after the second world war. Which mythological princess was the subject of McWilliam’s first major commission in 1957 and now stands outside the hospital?

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FE McWilliam, the second son of a GP, was born on Newry Street in Banbridge, Co Down, in 1909. Banbridge was a prosperous market town and McWilliam was fascinated by the craftsmen who practised their skills on the main street. What industry was Banbridge famous for during this period?

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Which Quaker artist and close friend of McWilliam was instrumental in organising the London International Surrealist Exhibition in London, in 1936, an exhibition that was to have a lasting influence on the direction of McWilliam’s work?

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What event during the Northern Ireland Troubles provoked McWilliam to make his series of bronzes Women of Belfast?

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In 1989, Banbridge District Council bought a large bronze by McWilliam to mark the artist’s 80th birthday. The work is now on display in the sculpture garden at the FE McWilliam Gallery and is used as the gallery’s logo. What is its title?

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Which sculptor, when asked why McWilliam’s full-length bronze portrait of her carried no inscription said: “One can’t be labelled until one is dead”?

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What unusual possession, sometimes called a sea-coconut, inspired McWilliam to produce a series of bronzes, including Bird and Cage and Pillow of Strength?

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McWilliam took inspiration from many sources, including his great love of literature. Chocolate Soldier, a bronze from 1977, has a torso cast from the inner tray of a chocolate box, and shares its name with an operetta, which was a parody of a play by George Bernard Shaw. What is the name of Shaw’s play?

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You got…

Not bad. You are at the papier-mache stage of sculpture

Hmm ….. You are at the Maquette stage of sculpture

Very impressive. You are firing (sorry) on all cylinders




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