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The People's Sculptor: The Life and Art of William Lamb [Paperback]

John Stansfeld
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Sep 2013
Tracing the life and work the life of Scottish sculptor William Lamb (1893 - 1951) this is a story of indomitable will and irrepressible creativity. The son of an alcoholic father and a survivor of the 'lost generation' who came of age in 1914, it was with courage and determination that Lamb overcame the obstacles life put in his path. Traumatised in the trenches at Passchendaele during the First World War and blighted by depression, Lamb was also severely wounded in his right hand. With characteristic resolve he retrained with his left hand - at Edinburgh College of Art and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Despite the uncertainty of an art market rocked by world war, Lamb established his reputation in Montrose with sculptures of the townspeople and fishermen of east Scotland. He produced prints, water colours and drawings to help fund his sculpture. Occasionally he undertook commissions and in 1932 he completed portrait bronzes of the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The Second World War dried up his supplies of materials, so he turned to wood carving and, when death finally put an end to his creativity, he left a large collection of his artwork as a legacy to the Scottish people.

Product details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd (26 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178027162X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780271620
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 564,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'an outstanding artist whose sense of place was an integral part both of who he was and of his art' --Duncan Macmillan, Emeritus Professor of the History of Scottish Art, Edinburgh University

'The genius who made metal sing' --Scottish Daily Mail

'interesting and informative' --Scottish Home and Country

About the Author

John Stansfeld spent his childhood in Scotland, England and America. After Oxford University he spent two years in the Gordon Highlanders. He is currently director of the Montrose Heritage Trust.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Art of william Lamb 19 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came across this hidden gem of a sculptor when searching for a bust of Dr. Alfred Hollins, the blind organist and composer. From an extract of the biography forwarded to me from Montrose Museum, it was evident that here we had a first class sculptor who hid his light under the proverbial bushel. Sculptor of the Duchess of York and her two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret he was a known exhibitor in all the correct places. But it is the story of this man who toured France and Italy on a bicycle after being traumatised in WW1 that creates the fascinating life. Having lived 'near' Montrose all my life, I had not the faintest of the existence of 'Bill' Lamb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recognition for an undervalued Scottish artist 6 Dec 2013
By Ken
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very well-researched book (particularly given the evident lack of material already in the public domain) that fully explores the life of a previously little-known but extremely talented Scottish artist over the first half of the 20th Century. It is essentially a story of achievement over adversity. Much of the setting is in and around the east coast town of Montrose, and the book gives an interesting angle of the geography, history and culture of the town in that era.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 11 Oct 2013
By Fernie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a missed opportunity. A biography of this amazing artist was well overdue but unfortunately this book is poorly written. Some sentence construction made me squirm and I was disappointed that the book ended so abruptly and with such a highly inappropriate and unnecessarily graphic description of his medical state prior to his death.
I felt a final paragraph was missing - something which gathered the threads together and summed up Lamb's contribution to Scottish art.
The preface is well written - perhaps it would have been better if Duncan Macmillan had used John Stanfeld's research and written the book himself.
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