William Lamb gets national recognition

William Lamb portrait sculptures at the Scottish National. The portrait of Violet Jacob is in the foreground and a self-portrait of Lamb in the background

William Lamb portrait sculptures at the Scottish National. The portrait of Violet Jacob is in the foreground and a self-portrait of Lamb in the background

0
Have your say

Two portrait sculptures by the renowned Montrose sculptor William Lamb are featured in an Autumn exhibition about the First World War in Edinburgh.

Lamb’s recognition, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in the country’s capital, is as a result of the publication of the first biography of Lamb, ‘The Peoples Sculptor’ by local author John Stansfeld, which was launched at the Royal Scottish Academy in September last year.

The new book brought a greater understanding and appreciation of the life and work of Lamb, who was himself severely injured in the Great War.

Chief curator of the gallery Julie Lawson said: “When I read the fascinating book about William Lamb I was interested enough to travel to Montrose to visit the Memorial Studio. There I discovered the breadth and power of his work, and thought that some examples could be included in the Great War exhibition.

“They have proved to be a very strong component of the display - a very deserving inclusion.”

One of the sculptures is of the Montrose author and painter Violet Jacob who lost her only son Harry in the war, and wrote the a moving poem about him in her book ‘More Songs of Angus’.

The other is a self-portrait of the sculptor, who enlisted in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and was wounded three times.

Lamb had completed his training as a right-handed artist in 1915. One of the wounds incapacitated his right hand, meaning that after the war Lamb had to retrain using is left hand.

He remarkably overcame his disabilities to become one of the foremost Scottish sculptors of the 20th century.

The book ‘The People’s Sculptor’ was published to much acclaim by the Edinburgh publishers Birlinn, with support from The Montrose Heritage Trust and the Friends of William Lamb.

Chairman of the Heritage Trust, Dr Andrew Orr, said: “We here in Montrose are delighted that these powerful works by William Lamb have been chosen for this major Edinburgh exhibition.

“The publication of the book has certainly brought Lamb to the attention of the greater art world and a much wider audience”.

The free exhibition ‘Remembering the Great War’ at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery runs until July 5, 2015.