There are many references to Lamb making portraits of family and friends from before the First World War, but relatively few of these appear to survive. Some may have been student pieces, others used as early studies for his sculptures and later discarded and others possibly survive largely unrecognised in private collections. One of Lamb’s portraits – a self portrait – survives in the Lamb Studio.
TN.0473. Pastel (“on school paper”) self portrait of Lamb, framed. It is suggested that this piece was drawn about 1908 when Lamb would have been fifteen. Although training with his brother James as a monumental mason, he also attended “continuation” classes in art at Montrose Academy over four years and was trained in a broad range of techniques and genres. This is one of his few pre-war art pieces to survive. It was first exhibited in the William Lamb Memorial Exhibition of 1951 - where it was described as having been “rescued from oblivion some time ago” by his nephew David Lamb. It is of interest as one of Lamb’s earliest surviving pieces. See the photo in J Stansfeld: (2013): The People’s Sculptor, p8.