Finding a new Editor can be an anxious task. You may know someone well, they may appear to be highly qualified but you cannot be sure if they will cope with the manifold complications that could be involved in actually getting copy out. There is also the question of whether they can equal or even maybe surpass predecessors who have already established and enhanced the nature of the publication with which they will be charged. In the end, one may simply need an Act of Faith.
Kate certainly had a lot going for her. She was known to be expert in Sculpture Studies in both older and contemporary sculpture. Of her two predecessors, Marjorie Trusted had done a superb job in getting the Journal established, simply getting it going with an impressive array of contributions from experts in the field. Her successor, Margaret Garlake, had consolidated and expanded the range of material that appeared, as well as taking on the risk of changing the appearance of the Journal to something certainly more eye-catching and, dare I say it, attractive than the original fine Green cover.
Kate seemed to be an ideal successor. Expert in eighteenth and twentieth British sculpture, she had an undoubted enthusiasm and passion that one trusted would overcome any of the practical problems that would inevitably occur. Contributors who seemed incapable of submitting written or illustrative material in appropriate format, let alone timing, is just one regular disruptive phenomenon she would not wish to dwell on, but which I, as her Editorial Board Chairman was aware she had to face, shall we say, on a number of occasions.
But what she really managed to achieve – and this is no disrespect to the achievements of her predecessors – was the enhancement of the Journal’s standing within the Sculpture World to a position in which it became and remains absolutely unchallenged in the field. The range of material of all ages and origins has become amazing, one always wondered can she possibly keep this up? But each issue, as it appeared, continued to dazzle and I for one, once my copy had arrived would spend days having my outlook and information extended by reading the latest number.
Her achievement has been outstanding and both the PMSA and the wider world of Sculpture Studies will I am sure appreciate this and be eternally grateful. And we wish her well and success with the work I know she has to do.
Now of course we have a new Editorial Team. I would refer you to my opening remarks – the challenge is there. Can you equal it? Is it conceivable it could be surpassed? One maybe thought it couldn’t be last time round. Prove us wrong!
Member Editorial Board, The Sculpture Journal since 1996, Chairman since 2001