Hughes, Robert Ball (DNB00)

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HUGHES, ROBERT BALL (1806–1868), sculptor, born in London on 19 Jan. 1806, was probably son of Captain Ball, R.N., whose mother's second husband was Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, and whose son Edward, the admiral's heir, assumed the surname of Hughes in 1819 [see Hughes, Sir Edward, ad fin] Robert worked for seven years in the studio of E. H. Baily, R.A., and was a student at the Royal Academy. There, in 1823, he gained the gold medal for a bas-relief 'Pandora brought by Mercury to Epimetheus,' which was exhibited at the Academy in the following year. In 1825 he exhibited a statue of Achilles, in 1826 busts of the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Wellington, and in 1828 `A Shepherd Boy.' In 1829 Hughes left England, and passed the remainder of his life in the United States. His most important American works were, the statue of Alexander Hamilton for the Merchants' Exchange, New York, destroyed by fire in 1835; the bronze statue of Nathaniel Bowditch, now at Mount Auburn; and the monument to Bishop Hobart in Trinity Church, New York. In 1851 he sent over to the international exhibition in London a statue of Oliver Twist. The Boston Athenæum possesses several specimens of his work. He died at Boston, U.S.A., 5 March 1868.

[Art Journal, 1868; Clement and Hutton's Artists of the Nineteenth Century, 1879; Drake's American Biography.]

F. M. O'D.