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Hew Lorimer (1907-1993), sculptor

Work in progress. More information to follow.

Link to Wikipedia entry: Hew Lorimer


1907: Born 22 May. Grew up at 54 Melville Street, Edinburgh and Gibliston, Fife. Educated by a much-loved Swiss governess and at Cargilfield Preparatory School, later at Loretto School in Musselburgh. Study/travel in Italy and Sicily with his father’s friend, the architect, Frank Deas.

1925-6: Spent one year at Magdalen College, Oxford. Failed first year exams and spent the summer in Blois learning French and studying art and architecture.

1929: Completed six months work experience in the office of architects Aikman & Swan in Edinburgh.

1930: Entered Edinburgh College of Art to study architecture under John Begg. Later switched to studying sculpture at the same college under Alexander Carrick.

1934-5: Twice awarded travelling scholarship of £250 from Edinburgh College of Art.

Went to study with Eric Gill at Pigotts for four months, followed by study tour of Germany, Italy and France with fellow ECA graduate Tom Whalen.

1935-9: Worked in Edinburgh, completing a number of commissions including the reredos for St Margaret’s Church, Dunfermline.

1936: Married to Mary McLeod Wylie, a fellow student at Edinburgh College of Art.

1939: Moved to The Gyles House in Pittenweem, Fife after outbreak of war. Worked in the Land Army as a farm labourer for several months.

1939-45: Undertook exhibition work for the British Council at the National Gallery of Scotland.

1942: Moved with his young family to Kellie Castle. Set up studio within castle stable block – many commissions over next 45 years completed here.

1947: Became elected Associate member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

1948: Purchased Kellie Castle

1953-5: Seven Allegorical Figures (National Library of Scotland)

1954-6: Our Lady of the Isles

1957: Became a Royal Scottish Academician. Elected to the Faculty of Sculpture at the British School at Rome.

1958: Elected Chairman of the St Andrews Preservation Trust in June.

1959: St Francis Returning to Assisi

1960: Appointed East Fife Representative by The National Trust for Scotland. Initiated the Little Houses Improvement Scheme (LHIS).

1962: Initiated the setting up of the Central and North Fife Preservation Society. Served as representative for NTS on General Committee of the above society.

1963: Served as Treasurer of the Royal Scottish Academy (until 1973).

1964: Central and North Fife Preservation Society given Weigh House, Ceres, which later became the Fife Folk Museum. Hew was involved with this project from the outset. NTS contract made permanent.

1967:  Attended General Assembly of Europa Nostra in Amsterdam and presented paper on LHIS.

1968: Fife Folk Museum opened. Hew Lorimer served on the Museum Committee until the end of the next decade.

1970: Sold Kellie Castle to The National Trust for Scotland. Remained as resident representative until 1985. Death of Mary Lorimer.

1972: Resigned as Chairman of St Andrews Preservation Trust.

1975: The Little Houses Scheme was chosen to represent the UK during Architectural Heritage Year.

1976: Retired from The National Trust for Scotland, but continued to work on a voluntary basis. LHIS received FVS Foundation’s European prize for the preservation of historic monuments. Became one of three Museum Trustees of Ceres Folk Museum.

1977: Elected Vice-Chairman of St Andrews Preservation Trust.

1983: Awarded honorary degree (Doctor of Law) from Dundee University.

1986: Awarded OBE.

1987: Exhibition of work at Kellie Castle to celebrate 80th birthday. Made honorary Vice-President of St Andrews Preservation Trust. Our Lady of Good Counsel – Hew’s last piece of work

1988: Retrospective exhibition at Talbot Rice Arts Centre, Edinburgh.

1993: Awarded Papal knighthood (Order of St Gregory) as recognition for his work in sculpture for the Church. Died September 1 at St Andrews, Fife, aged 86 years.

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