This is the twentieth volume in the Public Sculpture of Britain series, the ambitious collaboration between Liverpool University Press and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association that will eventually document the outdoor sculptural heritage of the whole of the UK. Public sculpture is defined in this context as any work of three-dimensional art located in an unregulated public space, typically consisting of free-standing commemorative monuments, architectural carvings and statues attached to buildings, and contemporary site-specific interventions. A subject that was until recently overlooked as a matter of marginal relevance to the history of art, public sculpture has been shown through the Liverpool University Press series to offer a range of important insights into the built environment, enriching our understanding of architecture and city planning, and raising many challenging issues relating to the development of society as a whole. This is nowhere better illustrated than in Edinburgh, where the richness of its history as a capital city, and the dramatic power of its urban topography, have combined to create a uniquely fertile breeding ground for public sculpture of every kind. With the coverage divided between two companion volumes, the study begins appropriately with the historic Old Town, and the various suburbs extending from it to the south.
Ray McKenzie was until his recent retirement a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Research Fellow at the School of Art in Glasgow, and is the author of several studies on the art of the city. These include Public Sculpture of Glasgow, which was joint winner of the Saltire Society / National Library of Scotland award for Research Book of the Year in 2002, and The Flower and the Green Leaf, an exploration of the educational culture of the School at the time of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He is currently an Honorary Professor in the Department of Fine Art Critical Studies. Dianne King is a former Acting Head of Humanities and Honorary Research Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art. She studied Art History at Edinburgh University and Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art, and has published articles on sculpture in academic journals. In 1999 she set up the PMSA Edinburgh Research Archive (now housed by Historic Environment Scotland) and worked, with others, on the Edinburgh PMSA database of public sculpture. Tracy Smith is an Art History graduate, a freelance researcher and editor, and was one of the team of researchers who worked with Ray McKenzie on Public Sculpture of Glasgow.