Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Bust of James Maxton, 12 May 1926

image from Red Clydeside collection

As a result of his political celebrity and distinctive physical appearance, James Maxton was popular as a subject for many artists in the 1930s. He sat for Sir James Lavery, Sir David Low, Emmanuel Levy and also Lady Kennet. The portraits by Lavery, Low and Levy are all housed in the National Portrait Gallery in London and the bust of Maxton by Lady Kennet resides in the Glasgow City Art Gallery in Kelvingrove.

Lady Kennet studied at the Slade School and in Paris under Rodin. In 1908 she married Captain Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) who died on his return from the South Pole in 1912. Her most famous work is the statue commemorating him (unveiled 1915) in Waterloo Place, London.

During her lifetime Lady Kennet did portrait busts of many distinguished contemporaries including W.B.Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and James Maxton. After her husband's death she was granted the rank of a widow of a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and was known as Lady Scott. In 1922 she married Lieutenant-Commander Edward Hilton-Young, who in 1935 became Baron Kennet and Lady Scott took the title of Lady Kennet.

Source: Maxton Papers, Glasgow City Archives