'The Bomber’ - Alexander Proudfoot, 1916
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Measurements: Height: 38cm (15in)
Patinated bronze. Figure of a Highland soldier throwing a Mills bomb. Inscribed in the bronze base ‘ALEX PROUDFOOT/ THE BOMBER/ FRANCE/ 1916’
Alexander Proudfoot, A.R.S.A., R.S.A. (1878-1957) was born in Liverpool and was a student of modelling and stone carving at Glasgow School of Art during from 1896-97 to 1908-09, winning the Haldane Travelling Scholarship in 1908. He was also a member of G.S.A. staff from 1909 until 1928, and became Head of Sculpture in 1912. In 1914, he shared a studio with the sculptor Johan Keller, and executed the carving on the Dunfermline Carnegie Library and a bronze relief for Glasgow Cathedral. He exhibited ‘Charon’ at Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts in 1915 but at the end of the year at the age of thirty-seven he enlisted in the 28th London Regiment, Artists Rifles. He subsequently became Sergeant in the Artinsts, and saw action in France. While on attachment to the Machine Gun Corps, he invented a protractor for the Vickers machine gun. After the war he continued as an independent sculptor, with a prodigious output of portrait busts and ideal work, and remained Head of Sculpture at G.S.A. until 1928. He was associated with Archibald Dawson and Benno Schotz throughout the inter-war years as the leading sculptors of their generation in Scotland. He secured commissions for war memorials at Bearsden (1924) and Greenock (1924). He was elected Associate Royal Scottish Academy in 1921, Scottish Academy in 1932, and was President of Glasgow Art Club three times between 1924 and 1939. Two years before his death he married his assistant, Ivy Gardner. Proudfoot’s name appears on Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.