Richard Ross Robertson RSA 1914-2007
Elected ARSA: 19 March 1969
Elected RSA: 9 February 1977
R. Ross Robertson was born in Sandhaven in 1914. He studied at Glasgow School of Art (with Benno Schotz RSA) then transferred to Gray's School of Art Aberdeen. He was a brilliant student who was awarded a travelling scholarship before the outbreak of WWII where he served firstly as a radio operator in RAF before being seconded to BOAC to fly transport missions. After meeting and marrying his wife, Kathleen Matts, in 1944, they returned to Aberdeen where he began lecturing at Gray's School of Art.
An interest in the sea and boats, from an early childhood in Burghead, stayed with him throughout his career. However, it was his contact with indigenous carving in Africa during the war which led him to making key works such as the granite Freedom in Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen and Eve in Aberdeen Art Gallery. He was also influenced by Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore and his explorations of figurative and abstract form became suggested by the materials he used, incorporating natural grain and twists in wood to represent form.
He has exhibited widely and undertook numerous commissions for public buildings including Aberdeen's Foresterhill Hospital, Peterhead Hospital and Alford School.
Richard was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1977 and became active here, serving on numerous RSA committees.
RSA Obituary, transcribed from the 2008 RSA Annual Exhibition Catalogue