Pair of Bronze Arms

Kathleen Scott (1878–1947)
Pair of Bronze Arms, 1929

Sculptress Kathleen Scott led a colourful life. Well known as an artist in her own right, she was a friend of Rodin’s, whose influence can perhaps be seen in these bronze arms, part of the collection at Scarborough Museums and Galleries. Other friends included George Bernard Shaw, Max Beerbohm and JM Barrie.

But she was also the wife of explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott. In 1910, she travelled with her husband (of just two years) to New Zealand and saw him off on his fateful Terra Nova Expedition to the Antarctic, where he was to die in March 1912 having been beaten to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian expedition. Kathleen didn’t learn of her husband’s death until nearly a year later, in February 1913 – at the time, she was sailing back to New Zealand to greet him on his return.

She later carved a commemorative statue of her husband from Carrara marble, which stood in Christchurch, New Zealand, from 1917 until it was toppled from its plinth and badly damaged by the recent earthquakes of February 2011. Repairs to the statue are still ongoing.

The couple’s son, Sir Peter Scott, was born in 1909 and was also known as an artist – he specialised in wildlife, and was also a broadcaster and ornithologist.