John Smith, 1938 - 1994. Leader of the Labour Party (Dated 1996)
About this artwork
This posthumous bust represents Labour leader John Smith who, shortly before his sudden death in 1994, was widely expected to win the next general election and become prime minister. Argyll-born Smith studied history and law at the University of Glasgow before becoming a solicitor and then an advocate in the Scottish courts. In 1970 he was elected Labour MP for North Lanarkshire and in 1974 turned down the post of Solicitor-General of Scotland to become an unpaid parliamentary private secretary at the Scottish Office. Smith progressed through the ministerial ranks until Labour’s defeat in 1979. After returning to the Law and serving in the shadow cabinet, in 1992 he was overwhelmingly voted Labour leader but it was a post he was to hold for only twenty-two months. Smith was survived by his wife Elizabeth and his three daughters.
- title: John Smith, 1938 - 1994. Leader of the Labour Party
- accession number: PG 3151
- artist: Eduardo PaolozziScottish (1924 - 2005)
- depicted: The Right Honourable John Smith Q.C. M.P.
- gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(On Display)
- object type: Sculpture
- subject: Politics and government
- medium: Bronze
- date created: Dated 1996
- measurements: Height: 37.00 cm
- credit line: Presented by the sitter's widow, Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill, in memory of her husband 1999
- copyright: © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2016.
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Of Italian descent, Paolozzi was born in Leith near Edinburgh. He studied in Edinburgh and London and spent two years in Paris from 1947, where he produced enigmatic, bronze sculptures reminiscent of those by Giacometti. During the same period he made a series of dada and surrealist-inspired collages in which magazine advertisements, cartoons and machine parts are combined, thus anticipating the concerns of Pop Art. Alongside teaching at various art schools he developed his printmaking and sculpture. Paolozzi was particularly interested in the mass media and in science and technology.