Robert Bryan Charles Kneale MBE RA (born 19 June 1930[1]) is a Manx artist and sculptor, described by BBC News Online as "one of the Isle of Man's best known artists."[2]


Born in the island's capital, Douglas,[3] Kneale studied painting at the Douglas School of Art, from which he graduated in 1947, and then moved to London, to study at the Royal Academy Schools.[4] In 1948, he won the Rome Prize and spent some time living in Italy.[3] During the 1950s, he learned welding, and in 1960 took to sculpture in preference to painting, and became a teacher.[3]

He has taught at Hornsey College of Art and Design, and from 1963 until his retirement from teaching in 1995 he taught sculpture at the Royal College of Art.[4] He was also Master and later Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy between 1982 and 1990.[1] In addition to his teaching, numerous exhibitions of his own painting and sculpture work have been held since 1953,[3] and his works are displayed in countries such as Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and the United States.[3] In the US, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City includes examples of his work amongst its public collections.[1]

He was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Prize in 1952, as well as the Daily Express Young Painters' Prize (1955) and an Arts Council Purchase Award (1969).[4] After a successful solo show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1966, Kneale became the first abstract sculptor to be elected a Royal Academician in 1974. He accepted the honour only on the condition that he be allowed to curate a show of contemporary sculpture which resulted in a groundbreaking survey of some of the period's most exciting sculptors.

Kneale is the younger brother of the screenwriter Nigel Kneale (1922–2006),[5] best known for his Quatermass television serials. Kneale illustrated the covers for Penguin Books' releases of his elder brother's Quatermass scripts in 1960.[6] He was also responsible for a painting of a lobster from which BBC special effects designers Bernard Wilkie and Jack Kine drew their inspiration for the Martian creatures they constructed for Quatermass and the Pit (1958–59).[7]

For his sculpture Capt Quilliam, he received the 2007 Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.[8] He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours, for services to British Art.[9]

He currently[when?] lives in London.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Bryan Kneale". Royal West of England Academy. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  2. ^ "Sculptor supports island museum". BBC News Online. 15 November 2005. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bryan Kneale". Archived from the original on 24 November 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bryan Kneale RA". Royal Academy. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  5. ^ Murray, Andy (2006). Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale (paperback). London: Headpress. ISBN 1-900486-50-4.
  6. ^ Pixley, Andrew (2005). The Quatermass Collection – Viewing Notes (paperback). London: BBC Worldwide. BBCDVD1478.
  7. ^ Jack Kine and Bernard Wilkie (2005). Making Demons (DVD documentary using archive interview material. Extra feature on The Quatermass Collection set). BBC Worldwide.
  8. ^ "Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture". Marsh Christian Trust. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  9. ^ "No. 62507". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2018. p. N19.