Mary Wollstonecraft Memorial Sculpture

Tell the judges what you think!

This survey is to gather opinions from people who live locally or are actively interested in Mary Wollstonecraft and her legacy.  The Mary on the Green campaign group is raising funds to commission a memorial to Wollstonecraft to be placed on Newington Green,  London N16.

There are two artworks which are being considered by a panel of experienced judges in May 2018.  We would like to give the judges advice about what people who will see the memorial and who value the legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft think of each of the possible memorial sculptures.  Please answer these 5 questions so that your opinions can be passed on to the judging panel.  This survey closes on 30th April 2018.    


Maggi Hambling's Proposal

Maggi Hambling says: “I’m really excited at the prospect of making real my sculpture, inspired by the trail-blazing Mary Wollstonecraft, which acts as a metaphor for the challenges we women continue to face as we confront the world.'

This 10-foot sculpture is cast in silvered bronze and set on a black granite plinth. It is inscribed with a quotation from A Vindication, "I do not wish women to have power over men but over themselves".  The sculpture is designed to encourage a visual conversation with the obstacles Wollstonecraft overcame, the ideals she strived for, and what she made happen. In this sculpture female forms commingle, rising inseparably into one another, transmuting and culminating in the figure of a woman standing free, her own person, ready to confront the world. The figure embodies all women."

Maggi Hambling studied with Lett Haines and Cedric Morris, and then Ipswich, Camberwell and the Slade Schools of Art.  In 1980, she was the First Artist in Residence at the National Gallery, London, and in 1985 she won the Jerwood Painting Prize with Patrick Caulfield.

Her works include A Conversation with Oscar Wilde, unveiled at Adelaide Street, London, facing Charing Cross Station. Scallop, a sculpture to celebrate Benjamin Britten was awarded the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.

Martin Jennings's Proposal

Martin Jennings "I have proposed a statue of her that expresses her heroic courage and her sheer force of personality. Her writings were radical and their publication involved considerable risk to her reputation – in my proposed monument she holds a toppling pile of books in balance by her fingertips. Carved in stone on either side would be some of her words from the Vindication: “Till greater equality be established in society, till ranks are confounded and women freed”. Her figure would be cast in bronze and set in stone to stand in place for at least as many centuries as her reputation has been neglected."

Martin Jennings’s work includes several statues to authors and poets: John Betjeman at St Pancras Station, Philip Larkin in Hull, Charles Dickens in Portsmouth and George Orwell at BBC Broadcasting House.

In 2016 his monument to Mary Seacole was installed outside St Thomas Hospital. Another commemorating women who worked in the armaments industry in World Wars I and II was placed in Sheffield City Centre. The Women of Steel sculpture won the 2017 Marsh Award for Public Sculpture.

Mary Wollstonecraft Memorial Sculpture

Who was

Mary Wollstonecraft wrote a range of radical tracts, collected letters and novels that explored Enlightenment ideas.

Wollstonecraft's 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' (1792) is an iconic feminist text and established her as one of the great foremothers of feminism. She argued that women and girls are forced into subjugation by law and oppressive societal norms. She called for women to receive the same rigorous education as men and seek financial independence.

 Wollstonecraft spent her life as a political activist championing equality, attacking the unfair power of the aristocracy, advocating republicanism and speaking out against the Slave Trade. She was an eighteenth-century human rights activist.

At great personal risk, Wollstonecraft travelled to Paris to witness the French Revolution and went on to write her own eyewitness account as the Reign of Terror unfolded.

Her daughter, Mary Shelly, took great pride in her mother’s work. She went on to write 'Frankenstein'. 

Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie c 1797. National Portrait Gallery, London

What is Mary on the Green?

Mary on the Green is a small London- based charity whose mission is to commemorate Mary Wollstonecraft with a sculptural memorial on London's Newington Green and an educational trust in her name.

Why Newington Green? 

Mary Wollstonecraft lived and worked right on the Green during her early career. She, along with her sisters and a good friend, set up and ran a school for girls during the 1780s. She regularly attended services at the Newington Green’s Unitarian Meeting House to hear her mentor Richard Price speak

Visit: or Follow: @maryonthegreen
Created by Olive Mackintosh-Lowe for MOTG