Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Gower Street WC1

RADA was built in 1927 by Geoffrey Norman, with these actors holding masks of Tragedy and Comedy sculpted by Alan Durst over the main entrance. Durst was a career soldier who left the army for art and enrolled at the Central School of Art and Design in 1913, with tragically bad timing. The very next year he was, of course, back in the Marines for the duration.
Durst makes a simple and effective point about acting by giving the Mask of Comedy to the grumpy old bloke on the right, and the Mask of Tragedy to the sunny, smiling beauty on the left.


Hels said...

I love them. These two sculptures are very austere and Deco. Given the date of the building (late 1920s), this is not too surprising of course.

But the medieval element was not as expected. Perhaps Art and Design students liked citing the medieval past.

Chris Partridge said...

I suspect the figures might be from Shakespeare. Titania and Bottom, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

A very nice and humourous take on a traditional piece of symbolism.