Sculpture by Maker

Sean Crampton - Biography

(1918-1999). Sculptor and printmaker born 15 March 1918 at Manchester. He first studied silversmithing at the Vittoria Junior School of Art, Birmingham, 1930-33, then attended Birmingham’s Central School of Art before going to Paris where he worked in Fernand Léger’s studio. Once back in England, Crampton enrolled in the Territorial Army and on the outbreak of the Second World War served in North Africa and in Italy. In July 1943, Crampton, by this time a Lieutenant, was awarded the Military Cross. Six months later, in January 1944, he stepped on a landmine. The official citation records that the moment Crampton felt his foot touch the igniter, he kept it pressed down, shouted to his men to take cover and, by virtue of allowing his foot to take the full force of the blast, prevented the mine from rising into the air, thereby undoubtedly saving the lives of his men, all of whom escaped without injury. Crampton, however, lost his foot. For this act of selfless bravery he was awarded the George Medal. After a long period of rehabilitation he resumed his career as an artist-craftsman and teacher. From 1946-50 he was Professeur de Sculpture at the Anglo-French Art Centre in St John’s Wood, London. Crampton exhibited (albeit infrequently) at the Royal Academy from 1955, had 17 one-man shows in various commercial galleries in the West End and was included in the first Royal West of England Academy Open Sculpture Exhibition in 1993. His commissions include a memorial for his old regiment, the London Irish Rifles, and The Three Judges, 1970, for Churchill College, Cambridge. He was a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1953, FRBS from 1965, President, 1966-71. In 1978 he was elected Master of the Art Workers’ Guild. He died at Calne, Wiltshire, 16 July 1999. Sources: Buckman, D., 1998; Independent, 23 July 1999 (obituary); Spalding, F., 1990; Strachan, W.J., 1984; Waters, G., 1975; Who’s Who 1999.

The works of Sean Crampton:

Figure of Stability, Burgess Hill

back to top