Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Male Nude Knockers: Tait McKenzie's Diversions

Tait Mckenzie was a very well known sculptor whose work revolved a great deal around the depiction of male athletes and the male nude. This speciality also brought him work designing medals and friezes and, sadly, in the aftermath of the First World War his particular skill made him well-places to offer a lot of sculpture for war memorials depicting the square-jawed, athletic young man for whom he was so well known. In the book Tait McKenzie. The Sculptor of Youth, Christopher Hussey says in the Preface: "The importance of Tait MacKenzie's sculpture lies in its being the first considerable oevre since the time of the Greeks to take as its subject and purpose the athletic ideal." Certainly McKenzie's athletes are a joy to behold and I've included some scans of them below (I think the pole vaulter has to be my favourite), but I couldn't put the book down without sharing what the author describes as 'Diversions': how wonderful is this door knocker (above) and the candlesticks (below) and the knife rests (two below). Imagine a table set with the candles and knife rests!

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