Bob & Roberta Smith with Archive Curator Neil Lebeter at the New Art Gallery Walsall.

Residency at the New Art Gallery Walsall: Jacob Epstein Archives, 2009-11

During 2009 through to September 2011 Bob and Roberta Smith was in residence at the New Art Gallery Walsall. In collaboration with Archivist Neil Lebeter, Smith produced a series of works inspired by the Jacob Epstein Archives.

The resulting exhibition ‘The Life of the Mind’ was inspired by Jacob Epstein’s sculpture of Esther, his 15 year old daughter, who Smith felt was resisting her fathers gaze. The exhibition sought to expose the myth of the male artist as having special insight into the minds of women. Works on display included Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick and Sarah Lucas alongside Bob and Roberta Smith.

Eppy Daddy Battle Bot, Bob & Roberta Smith, New Art Gallery Walsall

Also on display in the gallery entrance was Eppy Daddy Battle Bot; Bob states that “Jacob Epstein invented the robot” – a nod to Epstein’s famous sculpture Rock Drill. Eppy Daddy tells the story of Epstein’s career and specifically the trials that he faced particularly with some of his earlier work.

Video Diaries Bob & Roberta Smith at the New Walsall Art Gallery

A selection of videos posted by the artist in collaboration with Neil Lebeter discussing developments over the two year period of his residency.

Week 2: Bob’s History of Art

Week 3: Epstein’s Travels

Life of the Mind Exhibition Installation

Further Reading

Epstein, Jacob. An autobiography. Second edition, Vista Books, 1963


Bob and Roberta Smiths Epstein Archive


The Jacob Epstein Archive


New Ways of Curating


Bob & Roberta Smith at The new Art Gallery Walsall



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