Donations still needed as H&F pledges £20k to help restore Leaning Woman sculpture in Hammersmith

One of the most intriguing statues in London is in urgent need of repair.

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The Leaning Woman sculpture alongside the A4 in Hammersmith. PICTURE: HERITAGE OF LONDON TRUST

NOVEMBER 2023 UPDATE: We’re delighted that our crowdfunding appeal for the Leaning Woman restoration has met its funding target. We’re now moving to the next stage. Thanks to everyone who has followed this project and for the fantastic support from so many brilliant supporters. We’ll shortly be appointing a contractor to carry out the conservation work. As this cannot proceed during cold wet weather, our first task will be to ensure the Leaning Woman is sufficiently protected during the winter.

One of the most intriguing statues in London is still in urgent need of repair. To help, you've kindly pledged £9,527 in donations. Thank you!

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has given £20,000 towards the restoration of the sculpture that sits alongside the A4 in Hammersmith – called The Leaning Woman. A further £11,000 has been contributed by the charity Heritage of London Trust which raised funds and initiated the statue restoration project. But that still leaves another £8,842 to raise.

You can donate to our crowdfunding campaign on Spacehive to preserve the gravity-defying sculpture alongside the Great West Road near the subway near St Peter’s Church and St Peter’s Square.

Donate now

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X-ray imaging of The Leaning Woman sculpture to help assess damage


The reclining sculpture was created by sculptor Karel Vogel, who arrived in Britain from Prague in 1938 after fleeing the Nazis shortly before the Second World War.

WATCH A VIDEO: A short story about the woman who posed for the sculpture, as told by her son Alex Cardew – Meet the son of the Leaning Woman statue muse (YouTube).

It is of a half-nude classical Greek woman doing a sideways limbo movement, and it was commissioned by the old London County Council in 1958 to fill an area of leftover land alongside the A4.

The idea was to be a calming influence on motorists using a stretch of road that was the first multiple carriageway in the UK, and to compensate Hammersmith residents for the intrusion of the road.

Locals have grown to love the Leaning Woman, despite some hostile initial reviews, including one which dubbed it a ‘modern monstrosity’. Vogel died two years after his Leaning Woman was installed on its brick plinth.

“This is such a worthwhile restoration,” said Cllr Sharon Holder, H&F Cabinet Member for Public Realm. “But we still need help to preserve this Grade ll-listed artwork for future generations to enjoy.”

The H&F funding will come from our Community Infrastructure Levy – the fund property developers pay into to provide facilities for supporting new building projects in the borough.

Lean on me

In recent months, Heritage of London Trust's Proud Places programme has brought 60 local pupils to visit the statue. These visits have inspired the children to create their own works of art.

Twice life size and cast in concrete (a daring new art material in the 1950s) around a metal frame, the original has been exposed to the elements, as well as harmful pollution from 65 years of relentless vehicle traffic and now has cracks, while rust from the metal is visible.

In 2017, it was put on the Heritage at Risk Register to acknowledge its importance and highlight the urgency of the need for repair.

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