The Friends of Edward Carpenter are a group of people dedicated to establishing a permanent memorial to Edward Carpenter in Sheffield City Centre, recognising his historical and social importance and unique association with the city.
Our aim is to connect with the diverse worldwide population of interested people to establish the memorial. This is a big task, and we will be seeking local, national and international support to achieve this.
Primarily, we need to raise the funds required for the creation of a sculpture by renowned artist Maggi Hambling, intended to become a fitting memorial for Edward Carpenter, one that will provide both a concrete and spiritual focus for all who are inspired and influenced by him. Our aim in commissioning a work of public art that has integrity is that it will ensure a respectful place of pilgrimage, meditation, celebration and memorial in the heart of the City of Sheffield.
We will be looking to raise funds through concerts, musical, literature and arts events, in addition to lobbying for support from Edward Carpenter followers and admirers around the world. Please check back to see what is planned and we hope you will get involved. You can follow us on social media and the Facebook and Twitter Pages are a great way to see what is going on.
Who was Edward Carpenter?
Edward Carpenter (1844 -1929) was a significant cultural and political activist, who advocated the ‘Simplification of Life’ and put his beliefs into practice. He campaigned throughout his life on many issues of social concern, ranging from women's suffrage to the protection of the environment, from sexual emancipation to the formation of trade unions. For over forty years he formed a strong bond with the people of Sheffield, living openly as a gay man in Millthorpe, Derbyshire only a few miles away.
“Great success in examinations does naturally not as a rule go with originality of thought.”
— Edward Carpenter
His life was one of quiet celebration while his writings and example laid the foundation for the gay liberation movement of the twentieth century. Through his many friendships, Edward Carpenter transversed the divisions of class, gender, sexuality, race and creed. Men and women from across the world and from all walks of life came into connection with each other through him and his connections with Sheffield and home at Millthorpe.
The Friends of Edward Carpenter are endeavouring to establish a fitting memorial for Edward Carpenter, one that will provide both a concrete and spiritual focus for all who are inspired and influenced by him. We aim to commission a work of public art that has integrity and that will ensure a respectful place of pilgrimage, meditation, celebration and memorial in the heart of the City of Sheffield.
We are doing this in many ways through indirect fund-raising and the receipt of direct donations. As the committee are undertaking this voluntarily, and we are keeping overheads to an absolute minimum, your donation will go directly towards Edward Carpenter's memorial in Sheffield City Centre.