A private Lamb collection

On Wednesday (July 10) the Friends of William Lamb were pleased to host Mr John Martin and Councillor David May at the William Lamb Studio.

William Lamb, a sculptor of international repute was born in Montrose in 1893, lived most of his life there, and on his death in 1951 bequeathed his studio in Trades Close, Montrose together with his tools, working drawings and plasters and surviving collections to the people of Montrose.

The Studio is now maintained as a small gallery and museum under the management of Angus Council.

The Friends of William Lamb help with the promotion of William Lamb, the Studio and his exceptional works of art.

The visit of Mr Martin was of particular interest as he holds five of Lamb’s sculptures and he is proposing that they should be loaned to the town for a future display. All five pieces are of his family – his grandfather William, solicitor in Montrose, his grandmother Ann, his uncle Bob who died as a soldier in 1944, his aunt ‘Betty’ who died in childbirth in 1946 and his father Hughie. His grandparents are depicted in framed plaster bas-reliefs dating to 1916 making them among the earliest of Lamb’s surviving works. The other three are bronzes of the siblings as children, but cast after the First World War. Visitors to the Studio can see a copy of one - ‘Betty’ - on display. The visit resolved the mistaken belief that Mr Martin senior had disliked it so much he refused to accept the original. However, we now know that the one rejected was Hughie. Interestingly this one - described by a Studio visitor today as “absolutely stunning” - was more experimental than the others and perhaps closer to Lamb’s preferred style.

Mr Martin was invited to visit the Studio after fortuitously contacting councillor David May. Councillor May who has been extremely supportive of the Studio, believing its collections to be a major asset to the town and wider area, expressed his pleasure that the Friends welcome holders of Lamb’s works back to Montrose and help research their significance.