John W. Mills’ Third National monumental sculpture contribution to British art
John W. Mills’s exceptional bronze sculpture, “The National Monument of the Women of World War II,” is a poignant contribution to post-war art. Unveiled on July 9th, 2005, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, UK, this monumental work commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the war’s end.
The genesis of this remarkable sculpture can be traced back to a 1940s photograph of a cloakroom at a dance hall. John W. Mills was profoundly inspired, saying, “The picture just sparked an idea in my mind which I couldn’t get away from.” He was captivated by the image of women hanging up their uniforms, symbolizing their return to everyday life after the war’s conclusion.
“The National Monument of the Women of World War II” is a testament to women’s vital role in Britain’s wartime success. Called up for war duties in March 1941, women undertook various jobs, from mechanics and engineers to tank drivers and factory workers producing bombs and aircraft parts. They served as air raid wardens, fire engine drivers, plumbers, ambulance drivers, WRVS volunteers, and nurses.
This national monument, prominently situated at Whitehall’s cenotaph, commands attention with its imposing dimensions—23 feet in height, 16 feet in length, 6 feet in width, and weighing 23 tons. The sculpture is one of John’s most prestigious national works, featuring 17 sets of unique uniforms adorning its four sides. These uniforms symbolize the countless roles women undertook during World War II, including those of the Women’s Land Army, Women’s Royal Naval Service, nurses, police, and welders.
The monument rests on a plinth crafted from Portland stone, bearing the inscription, “The day is coming when all the women of the world will be free to be what they are…,” sourced from a speech by British suffragette Dame Millicent Fawcett. This quote serves as a profound reminder of women’s struggles and sacrifices throughout history to secure equal rights and recognition.
“The National Monument of the Women of World War II” holds a unique distinction—it is the first national monument in the United Kingdom dedicated to honouring women’s contributions during the war. It is a powerful reminder of their indispensable role in the war effort, enduring struggles, and unyielding bravery and determination. This monument pays homage to their enduring legacy.
The post-war monument was unveiled on July 9th, 2005, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with a dedication by Baroness Boothroyd, OM PC.
THE CELEBRATION OF THE MONUMENT OF WORLD WAR II WOMEN
As an avid follower of artistic evolution and a strong advocate for the profound role of art in preserving history, I was profoundly moved by John W. Mills’s bronze sculpture, “The National Monument of the Women of World War II.” This extraordinary work of art, created by the esteemed British artist, stands as a timeless masterpiece and an invaluable addition to John W. Mills’s investment collection.
My journey with this exceptional sculpture began with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s unveiling at the Cenotaph in Whitehall—a moment that underscored its rarity and historical significance. ICAS Vilas Art presents the last edition of the Marquette bronze sculpture, accompanied by the original study drawings, in an exclusive opportunity for discerning collectors.
The Marquette bronze sculpture, a scaled-down version of the monumental masterpiece, grants me the privilege of bringing the essence of “The National Monument of the Women of World War II” into my collection. Its intricate details and profound emotional depth pay homage to the resilience and unwavering strength of the women who played pivotal roles during the tumultuous wartime era.
For connoisseurs of art, the original study drawings provide a unique window into the artistic process behind this iconic sculpture. They unveil the meticulous planning and unwavering dedication that John W. Mills invested in crafting this tribute to the remarkable contributions of women during World War II.
This acquisition reflects my unwavering passion as a collector deeply committed to preserving history through art. It is a tribute to the enduring legacy of those who served during this transformative period. I extend a heartfelt invitation to fellow collectors and art enthusiasts to explore the unparalleled offerings at ICAS Vilas Art Gallery. In this place, history, artistic mastery, and exceptional rarity converge.
For those intrigued by the prospect of adding this exceptional piece to their collections or seeking further information, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting ICAS Vilas Art Gallery or contacting the gallery directly. This sculpture represents not just an investment in art but a profound symbol of admiration for women’s enduring strength and courage during a defining chapter in history.
The post-war monument art was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a dedication by Baroness Boothroyd, OM PC, on 9th July 2005. (The photos below capture the profound atmosphere of that historic day.)
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We welcome an enquiry about John W. Mills investment collection or for all private or corporate commissions. Please book an appointment by calling us. Direct contact Sunil Vilas,
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“My Sculptures have allowed me to meet members of The Royal Family, which has always been an exciting and enjoyable experience”.