Skip to main content

Public Statues and Sculpture Association

John Spence Gibson (fl. 1880–1933)

The Dictionary of Scottish Sculptors records a woodcarver and furniture manufacturer of this name, listing both the organ case at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, and the statue of Wayland Smith on the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, among his works. It acknowledges, however, that they ‘may not … be the work of the same man’. The fact that the woodcarver is known to have produced ambitious figurative works, such as a fireplace incorporating ‘copies of Michael Angelo’s “Slaves”’ and a ‘spirited representation, in bas relief, of the combat between Manlius Torquatus and the gigantic champion of the Gauls’ suggests that he may have been well able to carve figures from his own design in stone.

Bibliography: W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, p. 47, vol. 2, 509; The Scotsman, 11 June 1886, p. 3, quoted in J.S. Gibson, The Wood Carver (Edinburgh: s.n., 1886), n.p.

Ray McKenzie 2018