Joy, Albert Bruce- (1842–1924), sculptor, was born in Dublin, eldest son of Dr William Bruce Joy, member of the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland; nothing is known of his mother. The Joy family was of huguenot descent. Albert was sent at nine years of age to school at Offenbach, Germany, run by Dr Becker, author of Becker's grammar, and was later a student at King's College, London, and in Paris. He began his training in art at the South Kensington Schools and at the Royal Academy. His brother George William Joy also followed a career in art and was a painter of historical subjects, portraits, and genre. The sculptor J. H. Foley (qv) took him into his studio, where at first he would block out some of Foley's large sculptures in clay, but soon progressed to producing his own work, which was first exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition (1866). Having spent four years with Foley he travelled to Rome, where he copied from life and made studies from the antique but said that he found no teacher to compare with Foley. When he returned to England after an attack of malaria, he made a number of portrait medallions for both Oxford and Cambridge.
Fluent in French, German, and Italian, he entered exhibitions on the Continent, often winning prizes. He was awarded a medal at the Vienna Weltaustellung (1873) and won one of three medals allowed to British sculptors at the Paris International Exhibition (1878), and at the Great Exhibition at Antwerp (1885) he was the only fine arts representative of Great Britain. He received the only award for busts in the Paris salon (1896). These honours brought many commissions for important public monuments and statues. Indeed, he excelled at reproductions of famous people. His colossal statue of W. E. Gladstone (1881) stands in front of Bow church, London. The sculptor found Lord Salisbury (whose bust is in Westminster abbey) and Gladstone most interesting sitters and remarked how they were engaging but continued with their political duties and correspondence, obviously unperturbed by his presence. The bust of the actress Mary Anderson at Stratford-upon-Avon took nine days to model; the face was modelled from the actress and the hair from his wife. He was commissioned by the secretary, the Rev. H. Kingsmill Moore, MA, on behalf of the Bishop Berkeley memorial committee to make a recumbent figure of Bishop George Berkeley (qv) in Cloyne cathedral (completed 1890) and was paid £430 for the work, including its erection. The letters exchanged with the committee portray him as a businesslike man of few words and a sincere craftsman. His address at this stage was The Studio, Beaumont Road, West Kensington. Bruce-Joy was the only sculptor given access to the body of King Edward VII in order to make his death mask; he was also responsible for a bust of the king in white marble. A prolific artist, he produced an enormous amount of work. He visited America twice and executed among other works, the Ayer lion at Lowell, near Boston, Mass., for which, it is said, he used a number of lions as sitters. He was a big man and seemed to enjoy working on large-scale pieces.
His medallions, sensitively executed, were particularly successful and he produced many, including one of his father and of Sir Gabriel Stokes (qv), FRS, which was shown with other pieces at the Irish International Exhibition at Herbert Park, Dublin (1907). A bust of his father, William Bruce Joy, and a full figure in marble of Robert James Graves (qv) are in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin, and the seated figure of the lord chief justice of Ireland, James Whiteside (qv), is in St Patrick's cathedral. A number of his portrait medallions are in the National Portrait Gallery, London, the British Institute, and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin. In Belfast he made the statue of William Thomson (qv), Lord Kelvin, placed in the Botanic Gardens (1913). He exhibited a vast number of works with the Royal Hibernian Academy (1870–1914), of which he was made a full member (1893). He died 22 July 1924, after a long illness, at Bramshott Chase, near Hindhead, Surrey; he never married. He had some interesting views on food values and confined his diet mainly to vegetables, which he believed contributed to his longevity.