North Coast Visitor Centre » Collections Blog » Ann Henderson Sculptures

Two sculptures made by the Thurso born artist Ann Henderson (1921 – 1976).

Born in the Ormlie area of Thurso, Ann Henderson was the daughter of a farming family, whose artistic talents were quickly discovered by teachers at the Miller Academy.

Intent on pursuing a career as a sculptor, she attended the Sculpture School of the Edinburgh College of Art, where she also worked as a Junior Assistant Teacher.

She graduated in 1945 as the only women in her year with a Diploma of Sculpture. The high grades she achieved earned her a Post-graduate scholarship which she used to travel to Paris in order to study at the École des Beaux-Arts under the French sculptor Marcel Gimond.


She spent a year studying in Paris before returning to the Sculpture School in Edinburgh, where she was soon promoted to lecturer and subsequently senior lecturer.

Throughout her artistic career Ann Henderson displayed great creativity and innovation. She embraced the usage of all kinds of unconventional

materials for her creations, being one of the first sculptors in Scotland to make use of polyester resin and fiberglass. When lecturing at the sculpture school, she would introduce new experimental teaching courses.

Her works have been exhibited in many important galleries throughout the United Kingdom, such as the Royal Scottish Academy, the Society of Scottish Artist, the Royal Academy, London, as well as Paris.


Henderson’s sculptures ranged from the figurative to the abstract and were often inspired by everyday scenes of Scottish crofting life. This, as well as her skill in using different materials, is nicely displayed in the two sculptures of hers we have on display in the NCVC.

The aptly named “Stone Form”.

“Composition”. This bronze sculpture earned Ann Henderson the Guthrie Award for the most outstanding work by a young Scottish artist in 1954, which enabled her to use the award money to finance three months of study in Greece.

She would later go on to become a member of the Scottish Arts Council’s “Young Artists” panel herself.