The Sculptor: James Butler, RA


James Butler, RAJames Butler, R.A.,  MBE

Member of the Royal Academy of Art
Member of the Royal West of England Academy
Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors

25 July 1931–26 March 2022

James Butler was born in London in 1931 and lived most of his early life in Kent where he attended the Maidstone Grammar School and the Maidstone School of Art. He then went to St Martin’s Art School for two years and was awarded a diploma in Fine Art. He spent two years in the Army as part of National Service, where he served in the Royal Signals. Following the army he was employed as a stone carver and worked mainly in the City of London for some 10 years. He was invited to take up a teaching post in sculpture and drawing at the City & Guilds of London Art School in the mid- 60’s. In 1964 he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts where he has exhibited every year since. His first major commission was in 1969 to make a twice life size portrait statue of President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya which was set up in Nairobi on Kenya’s 10 year anniversary of Independence. This has led to many major portrait statues and memorials. He has worked continuously since on major commissions throughout the world and in England. He is equally well known for his smaller bronzes depicting dancers and nudes.

For the inspiration and the process of making of the Rainbow Soldier, please see:



Major Commissions

  • Twice life size portrait of statue of President Kenyatta (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Monument to Freedom Fighters of Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia)
  • Portrait statue of Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis (Wellington Barrack, Birdcage Walk, London)
  • Memorial statue of King Richard III (Castle Gardens, Leicester)
  • Portrait statue of Sir John Moore
  • Portrait statue John Wilkes (New Fetter Lane, London)
  • 2nd casting – Portrait statue John Wilkes (Wilkes University, Wilkes – Barre, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Memorial for Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (Arborfield)
  • D-Day Memorial for the Green Howards (Crépon, Normandy)
  • Life size portrait statue of Isambard Kindom Brunel
  • Memorial for Fleet Air Arm – “Daedalus” (Thames Embankment, London)
  • Portrait bust of the Queen Mother, Butcher’s Company
  • Work for the Royal Mint:
    • Royal Seal of the Realm commissioned by the Royal Mint for HRH Queen Elizabeth II
    • Royal Jubilee Commemorative Medal
    • The 50 pence coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s 4 minute mile
    • The Nelson Crown Piece to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Lord Nelson


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
© 2011-2021 Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation