One of the most touching sculptures in Glasgow’s art gallery and museum is George Lawson’s, Motherless. It is fashioned of cold, marble-like, plaster, but the depth of emotion caught in the piece is palpable. You can feel the loss and the sorrow, the despair and the loneliness, and at the same time the warmth of the father’s love and the child’s trust. Both the father and child look completely worn and wearied by their loss, but there is a comfort there between them. He comforting and keeping her; she resting reassured in him. They are worn and heartbroken, but they have each other. We can see the strength of the father as he cuddles his heartbroken child, and it comforts us. We know he will care for her and keep her safe all the days of her life. Notice the little shoes and socks lying on the floor, and her little bare feet sticking out from under her father’s strong hands. I find those especially touching. That tells me he is not going to be a heavy-handed, pragmatic father, but one who in tender love will nurture his little charge with great care. 

Motherless by George Anderson Lawson

I used my iPhone 3GS to take this photo.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deanna Schrayer
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 07:28:29

    That sculpture is absolutely gorgeous Elizabeth, and you couldn’t have said it better – the emotion that radiates. I don’t believe I could look at it very long without crying, it’s already brought a lump to my throat.


  2. Bill Chance
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 11:06:27

    An amazing work of art.

    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Ruth Walker
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 14:36:35

    Hi Elizabeth, I know it’s a long time since you posted this, but I’ve only just stumbled across it. In my teens, I used to visit the Kelvin Grove Art Gallery fairly regularly and the two things that I went to see first were Salvador Dali’s “Christ of St John of the Cross” and the beautiful sculpture “Motherless”. What an amazing piece – so simple in the most simple of mediums – plaster – but it speaks volumes. I’m now an ‘exile’ in the south of England but will never forget the impact of this beautiful, simple piece.
    I, too, am a Christian and see in this the love of God for his precious children – us! – and how we can rest safe and secure in his loving arms.


    • elizabeth
      Dec 29, 2013 @ 15:59:02

      Hi Ruth, and welcome to my blog. Yes, I also see and feel the love of God in this beautiful work. Those who know Him always rest secure, especially in the midst of great sorrow or loss.

      Isn’t it funny that those two pieces have such a pull on the children who were fortunate enough to have them nearby. At the age of 8,9,10, I crossed the river Clyde at Kinning Park and walked to the art gallery every chance I got. It was an amazing world to me. And still is. Dali’s John of the Cross is a more elaborate display these days with much more information (videos etc.) about the painting, the artist, and his art now in a little corner-room.

      I’ll always be thankful to the people of Glasgow who through their taxes make all this beautiful artwork freely available to everyone. :-)


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