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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Ann Henderson (1921–1976)

Scottish sculptor, born into a farming family at Thurso, Caithness, and educated at Miller Academy, where her creative aptitude was recognised and encouraged. She studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art (1940–45), winning a travelling scholarship that enabled her to study at the École des Beaux-Arts with Marcel Gimond, who had in turn studied with Aristide Maillol and Auguste Rodin. On her return to Edinburgh, she resumed her post as a junior assistant teacher in the Sculpture School at Edinburgh College of Art, later becoming a Lecturer and eventually Senior Lecturer. In 1954, she was awarded the Royal Scottish Academy Guthrie Prize, which enabled her to travel to Greece, and was later instrumental in organising many important exhibitions, including the ‘International Open Air Exhibition of Sculpture’ at Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, in 1969, and ‘Eight Edinburgh Sculptors’, 1972. Her practice as a sculptor was divided between her studio in Edinburgh and her croft in Caithness, where she bred Highland ponies. She exhibited regularly at the Society of Scottish Artists, the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy in London, and her many public commissions include the sandstone Man with a Sheep in Market Square, Galashiels (1971).

Bibliography: Anon, Ann Henderson: a retrospective (ex. cat.), Thurso, Caithness, n.d. [2011]; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 84, 417.

Ray McKenzie 2018