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Henry Moore Institute

'The Hyde Park Atrocity'

'The Hyde Park Atrocity'

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This publication investigates Jacob Epstein's most controversial sculpture. A large Portland stone relief commemorating the naturalist and writer, William Henry Hudson. Inspired by Rima, the heroine of Hudson's most famous novel, Green Mansions, the work took Epstein three years to make and was revealed in May 1925, though not to universal acclaim.

Epstein's unconventional interpretation of the subject shocked many people and Rima was condemned as 'The Hyde Park Atrocity' in The Daily Mail. It was the most talked about work of its time, and as such its creation, unveiling and reception were exceptionally well chartered.

Much of this material, including the Memorial Committee's Minutes and correspondence, along with a unique sketchbook by Epstein dated 1923, is held in the collection of The Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture and has been referred to extensively for this publication. Written by Terry Friedman (Principal Keeper, Leeds City Art Gallery and The Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture), the book also contains a full reproduction of the preparatory drawings Epstein made for Rima.


I - 'Rimaphobia'    
II - Hudson's Elysium    
III - Epstein's First Design    
IV - The 'Wonderful Woman Spirit'    
V - Rima Revised    
VI - Rima Carved    
VII - The Pro-Epsteiners    
VIII - The Army of Opposition    
IX - Beauty and Barbarism    
X - Politics and Anti-Semitism    
XI - 'The Hyde Park Atrocity. Take It Away!'    
XII - 'The Inevitable has Happened'    
XIII - 'Banalities and Eyesores'    
XIV - 'The Provocativeness of Great Art'   

The Rima Sketchbook  

Appendix A: Documents    
Appendix B: Selected letters and press clippings    
Appendix C: the Hudson Memorial Committee's presentation of William Rothenstein's Portrait of W. H. Hudson to The National Portrait Gallery 1922-23

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