Born in Norwich, England in 1915, he moved to London and enrolled in painting and sculpture courses at the Royal College of Art in 1938. He spent many summers working as a studio assistant to Henry Moore.
Meadows served in the Royal Air Force from 1941-46, stationed in Dover, India, Ceylon, and the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. Upon his return to London in 1946, he resumed his studies at the RCA.
Meadows taught at the Chelsea School of Art from 1948-60, and was a professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art from 1960 to 1980. In 1980 he was appointed Professor Emeritus. From 1983-88 he was the Acting Director of the Henry Moore Foundation, then in 1989 served as a consultant to the
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