Famed sculptor's private collection for sale

Famed sculptor's private collection for sale

CUMBERLAND - Honoring her late husband's lifetime of artistic accomplishments on the national scale, and ensuring his hundreds of sculptures and drawings do not end up in storage, a Lincoln woman has opened her private collection to the public this month with the hope of selling almost every piece.

Myrna Lamb said it is what her husband, Robert Lamb, a Lincoln resident who died at age 89 in February 2012, would have wanted.

"Bob did not want his work to be in storage. He wanted people to enjoy it," Mrs. Lamb said, noting that prices have been reduced considerably to make this possible. Pieces that once sold for $1,400 could now go for as low as $300, she said.

The sale runs at J.H. Rowbottom Fine Art, 1590 Mendon Road, every Saturday and Sunday through Sunday, Nov. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment by calling 401-935-8754.

The works span decades and include sculptures made of plaster, pewter, granite, limestone and bronze, as well as sketches, paintings and calligraphy work. Some, like three-dimensional pieces featuring resin and drawings, combine several mediums.

"One constant in his work was the human figure," Mrs. Lamb explained. "Whether he painted, carved or built it up in clay, it's the human form that dominates all of Bob's work."

In addition to the walls and shelves adorned with Lamb's works, a table of photographs, sketchbooks and newspaper clippings sits on a table so visitors can learn about the man behind the art.

"It's not just a sale," Mrs. Lamb said. "It's a celebration of his life."

Among the items on display is Lamb's U.S. Merchant Marine uniform and photograph, which he wore as he served throughout World War II.

It was when he returned from war that he attended Rhode Island School of Design, where he later taught, graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1952. He earned a master of fine arts degree from Cornell University in 1954.

Lamb created several notable pieces over the years, including three bronze reliefs for the Boston Marathon Monument in Copley Square; two bronze reliefs for the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.; a granite relief for the United States Trust Company in New York; and the monument honoring the working people of Woonsocket that sits in front of the Museum of Work and Culture.

He also carved tombstones for 40 years, and created the seals at the entrance to University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University law school.

His work is a part of many private collections, including the Hirschhorn Collection in Washington, D.C., but many Providence College and Kent School graduates may also unknowingly own his work as Lamb designed the calligraphy for diplomas and wrote graduates' names out by hand for many years.

Despite his grand success, "He didn't strive for fame," Mrs. Lamb said. "He's a man who deserved attention."