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  • Lorimer Society

Annual Lectures 2024

Updated: Jul 3

Our Annual Lectures 2024 were held at Kellie Castle, Fife, on 1 June.

Our speakers to a sold-out event were Professor Emerita Elizabeth Cumming on ‘Phoebe Traquair and the Challenges of Craftsmanship’ and Dr Louise Boreham on 'Crafting the Thistle Chapel and more'.

Professor Emerita Elizabeth Cumming: ‘Phoebe Traquair and the Challenges of Craftsmanship’ 

To learn and perfect a craft needs ambition and constant dedication. In a long career spent in Edinburgh Phoebe Anna Traquair HRSA 1852-1936) became highly proficient in a wide range of crafts from mural art and furniture decoration to manuscript illumination, embroidery to enamelling. Referring to her personal correspondence and published interviews, this illustrated talk sheds some light on how she developed her skills and reveals

both the pleasures and frustrations of mastering new processes. The results included a variety of commissions from the Lorimer family from enamels to war memorial panels.

Scottish art historian Dr Elizabeth Cumming has researched the life of Phoebe Traquair for over forty years with her latest book published in 2022. She is an Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University and the author of many books and catalogues on Scottish art and design. She is currently a trustee of the Lorimer Society.

Dr Louise Boreham: 'Crafting the Thistle Chapel and more'.

Sir Robert Lorimer brought together the best artistic talents for his Gothic masterpiece. His

heraldic research was meticulous, but once the design was set, it was up to individual craftworkers to bring it to fruition. His assistant, John Matthew, co-ordinated the different trades, but on-site supervision was done by James Grieve, Master of Works. It was Sir Robert who recognised that the unique modelling style of the sculptor Louis Reid Deuchars, newly arrived in Edinburgh, would bring to life his designs and duly commissioned him to prepare plaster maquettes for the carving and

bronzes. This was the start of a partnership which lasted ten years.

Dr Louise Boreham is a retired college lecturer and granddaughter of Louis Deuchars. Interest in his work culminated in her doctoral thesis on the relationship between sculptors and architects in this period. She has published articles, contributed to books, radio and television programmes and presented to a range of audiences

Louise Boreham and Elizabeth Cumming in the garden at Kellie, 1 June 2024.



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