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ID number:  BIRRC-A0436
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Tyler, William Henry
Title / Object name:  Portrait bust of Constance Naden
Object type:  Sculpture
Culture:  British
Date made:  1890
Materials:  Marble
Measurements:  28.5 in.
BIRRC-A0436.jpg

Constance Caroline Woodhill Naden was a poet and philosopher born in Edgbaston, and a distinguished student of Mason College (1881-87). She gained first class certificates in all her examinations and was the first female student to win the Heslop medal. Her particular interests were philosophy, geology and evolution and she was a frequent speaker at college debates, where her speeches where listened to with rapt attention. Later settling in London, Naden entered into scientific circles, and became an early campaigner for women’s suffrage. She died aged 31 on Christmas Eve 1889, following an operation, and is buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham. This bust originally stood in the Mason College Library opposite the bust of Dr. Heslop. Her head and shoulders rest upon three volumes representing her poetic and scientific writings ‘Songs and Sonnets of Spring Time’, ‘The Elixir of Life’ and ‘Induction and Deduction, Hylo-Idealism’. The University of Birmingham has encouraged women’s further education since its inception, and was the first university to establish a hall of residence for female students. Display of this bust in the Reading Room is a tribute to Constance Naden’s achievement.

Notes:  Exhibited at the RBSA in 1890 'The Sixty-Fourth Autumn Exhibition at the Rooms of the Society, New Street (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists), 1890', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951,

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