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Friends bid to gather memories of Montrose artist and sculptor William Lamb

Friends chairman Norman Atkinson signs the memory book alongside a self-sculpture of the man himself.
Friends chairman Norman Atkinson signs the memory book alongside a self-sculpture of the man himself.

An “awkward” encounter with Montrose artist and sculptor William Lamb is among the memories recorded by a new community project.

The Friends of William Lamb have prepared a series of books and asked those who knew him, his family or the models he used, to record their personal memories.

Secretary Hilary White said: “Friends were astounded that on the actual day the first recording book was delivered a summer visitor to the studio admitted that she had last visited the studio 82 years ago, when she had been brought to visit by her great aunt, a relative of Lamb.

“She recounted the awkwardness she felt as they had disturbed Lamb in his work, before he made them welcome.

“But on leaving she was further embarrassed by offering to shake hands with Lamb — forgetting his right hand was still scarred and damaged from his injuries sustained in 1917 during the war.”

Traumatised in the trenches at Passchendaele during the First World War and blighted by depression, Lamb was also severely wounded in his right hand.

He retrained with his left hand — at Edinburgh College of Art and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.

Lamb bequeathed his working studio in Trades Close, Montrose, together with his artworks, to the people of Montrose on his death in 1951.

Initially the studio was leased out to working artists, but in 1977, following the establishment of a Friends organisation, plans were made for the studio to be upgraded to a small museum and gallery of Lamb’s works.

Before the studio opened in 1977 local people were encouraged to record their memories of Lamb both as a Montrose resident and as an artist and a number of these revealing texts survive.

Although it is now 40 years later it was decided to encourage the decreasing numbers of people who remember Lamb to add their memories in this the 40th anniversary year of the Friends.

This book, with these and other recorded memories, is in the Lamb Studio and those who remember Lamb are invited to visit before the close of the studio summer season on August 31 and join the project.

Another book is planned for Montrose Museum where an exhibition on the Lamb Studio will open on August 26 and run until November.

The Lamb Studio is open for the summer season on Tuesday-Saturday afternoons from 2pm-5pm until the end of August.

Friends are available to give special guided tours on Wednesday afternoons.

The Studio will also be open for Doors Open Day on September 2 from 11am-4pm.

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