20th Oct, 2017

Historic Warwick University statue awarded listed status

Coventry Editorial 25th Jan, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A STATUE at the University of Warwick has been listed by Historic England.

The 3B Series 1 Sculpture, in the Rootes Building courtyard on the University’s main Coventry campus, has been awarded listed building status in recognition of its post-war importance.

The statue, nicknamed the Red Square, was listed alongside 40 other post-Second World War public sculptures which were designed to rejuvenate public spaces as towns and cities began to repair themselves.

The 3B Series 1 Sculpture was designed by German-born Jewish artist Bernard Schottlander, who escaped to Britain when he was 15 years old.

Becoming a full-time professional sculptor in 1963, Schottlander joined forced with the University of Warwick’s architect Eugene Rosenberg – himself a Jewish refugee who had lost his parents and six siblings in the Holocaust.

In 1968, Rosenberg was granted £1500 from the Arts Council to build the large, red statue – made up of a grouping of geometric shapes which, legend has it, spells out the word ‘toil’ to students looking out of their bedrooms in Rootes Hall.

Today, the sculpture is a centrepiece of the University of Warwick’s Sculpture Trail and has welcomed thousands of children in exploring it with the help of the Mead Gallery staff and student leaders.

Welcoming the statue’s listing, Sarah Shalgosky, Curator of the Mead Gallery at the University of Warwick said: “The sculpture has been listed by English Heritage in recognition of a time when architects and artists worked together to try to communicate a vision of a new world after their experiences in the war.”

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch, echoed her sentiments, adding: “It is only right that these fantastic pieces are listed. Not only are they magnificent sculptures but they are also an important part of our history, capturing the mood of Britain after WWII.”

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