Robert Kiddey was a well-known local figure who gained national acclaim for his sculptures whilst also influencing many hundreds of pupils through his fifty years of teaching in Newark.

During his career he exhibited, not only locally, but also had works exhibited at the Paris Salon, the Royal Academy and the Goupil Galleries, London.  This was alongside sculptors such as Sir Jacob Epstein and Eric Gill, and artists, including Pablo Picasso and Augustus John.

In the 1920s he achieved his first major success with a plaster panel in low relief entitled ‘The Divine Tragedy’ which can be seen in the Art Gallery. This was accepted by the Royal Academy and at the Salon des Beaux Arts, Paris in 1933, which gave Kiddey two rarely-awarded Mention Honorables during his career.