George Anderson Lawson (1832-1904)
Bronze, rich brown patination
38 1/8 inches (97 cm.)
Signed Geo. A. Lawson, dated 1891, and inscribed J.Moore, Founder.
The Burns Memorial at Ayr is considered to be one of the finest depictions of Scotland's national poet. Standing firmly on his left leg, his face is chiselled with a meditative expression. The statue is placed with Burns gazing reflectively toward the place of his birth, Alloway, a few miles distant. The bronze is a colossal size and is set on a pedestal of Aberdeen granite. The statue, cast by Moore and sons, was unveiled by Sir Archibald Campbell (Lord Blythswood), Grand Master Mason of Scotland, on July 8th, 1891. Bronze panels depicting scenes from Burns' life have since been added to the pedestal. Lawson's memorial was also applauded on a national scale to the extent that replicas were erected in Melbourne on the 23rd January 1904, Detroit on the 23rd July 1921, Vancouver on the 25th August 1928, Montreal on the 18th October 1930, and Winnipeg in 1936.
The present version of Robbie Burns is a rare bronze reduction of the monument at Ayr, cast by the Thames Ditton Foundry of James Moore, the same foundry that cast the actual monument. The foundry was originally started by Cox and Sons and was then taken over by Drew and Company, becoming James Moore in 1883. James Moore, who along with Herbert Singer was the only founder to receive the honour of becoming a member of the Art Workers Guild before 1910, cast many important works. The foundry was taken over by Hollinshead and Burton becoming A. B. Burton in 1897, so the present cast must have been cast before this date. A smaller version standing 14 inches high was cast in France by the Susse Frere foundry. This bronze edition became a popular acquisition amongst the intellectual community of Scotland as well as visiting learned Americans to whom Burns was regarded as a prophet.
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