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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Henry Snell Gamley (1865–1928)

Born in Logie Pert, near Montrose in Angus, he moved to Edinburgh when still a boy, and was educated at James Gillespie’s School. He went on to study at Edinburgh School of Arts (then located on Chambers Street) under Charles D. Hodder, winning a gold medal in 1887 for a model based on the antique Spinario, then proceeding to the National Art Training School at South Kensington (later the Royal College of Art), where he won further medals under the tutelage of Édouard Lantéri. Returning to Edinburgh, he assisted William Grant Stevenson between 1899 and 1902. The bulk of his work was in portraiture, small reliefs and medallions, but he also produced colossal bronze figures for war memorials at Cupar, Fife (1922) and Montrose, Angus (1924), and a major monument to Robert Burns, commissioned by an expatriate Glaswegian for Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA. In order to produce this he set up a studio in Paris in May 1927, but died suddenly and unexpectedly on 25 October, the day after he put the finishing touch to the full-size clay model. The statue went on to be cast in Paris, and was erected at Cheyenne in November the following year. A genial and widely admired man, Gamley was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1906 and an Academician in 1920.

Bibliography: R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 6–14, 45, 46, 186, 435, 440, vol. 2, pp. 97, 98, 117–19, 347, 498; Scotsman: (i) 27 October 1928, pp. 10, 16 (obit.); (ii) 11 May 1929, p. 12.

Ray McKenzie 2018