In 1959, Henry Moore paid tribute to Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) as the man who "took the brickbats for modern art, and as far as sculpture in this country is concerned, he took them first." American born, trained in Paris, he lived and worked in England from 1906 onwards. Epstein soon became known both as a pioneer of direct carving influenced by non-European art, and a prominent member of the pre-1914 London avant-garde. Though he later became the leading portrait sculptor of his generation he was also a confrontational figure who challenged sexual taboos and whose larger scale work, like that of Stanley Spencer, took a highly individual and controversial path. This talk will consider some the works that became the stuff of cartoons, limericks, music hall jokes and were even shown in a Blackpool side show. These include his sculptures for the British Medical Association Building in the Strand (1907-8), his relief carving of Rima for the W H Hudson memorial in Hyde Park (1924-5), his sculptures for the London Underground and the sequence of large free-standing carvings, including Genesis, Adam and Jacob and the Angel, produced during the 1930s.