Joyce Bidder1906 - 1999
Born: January 5, 1906
Died: February 26, 1999
Joyce Bidder was a unique sculptor who worked largely without mind to contemporary movements in art. Consequentially, her work is not particularly well known in the 21st century, though she created and exhibited throughout Britain during her lifetime.
Educated at the Wimbledon College of Art, Bidder studied sculpting under Stanley Nicholson Babb. She reportedly became one of his best students, and Bidder followed close in his footsteps, working in a wide variety of materials. Bidder took on her own protégé in 1933 when London-based sculptor Daisy Borne sought her out after purchasing one of her ceramic figures at a Society of Women Artists exhibition. Bidder taught Borne to carve, and the two women maintained a studio together in Wimbledon for much of the rest of their respective careers.
Between the early 1930s and mid-1950s, Bidder regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy; it is possible that her work would have continued to be accepted after the mid-1950s, however, she withdrew from competition because she was dismayed by the judges' favor granted to modernist works around this time. She did continue to show at the annual exhibitions of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers.
Never possessing any dreams of fame in the annals of art history, Bidder sculpted almost exclusively for the sheer joy of creating art. Her personal life remains a relative mystery because of her attitude toward her work, though it is known that she preferred to sculpt the human and animal forms.