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Benno Schotz was born on the 28th of August 1891, to a family of watchmakers in Estonia. In 1911 he left his homeland to begin studying engineering in Darmstadt, Germany before emigrating to Glasgow, transferring to Royal Technical College where he gained an engineering diploma. From 1914 to 1923 he worked in the drawing office of John Brown and Company, a Clydebank shipbuilders, while attending evening classes in Sculpture, including Modelling and Stonemasonry, at The Glasgow School of Art from 1914-1921. During the 1914-15 session Schotz received a bursary from The City Educationall Endowments Board worth £3.
In 1920 he was elected President of the Society of Painters and Sculptors, Glasgow, and three years later he became a sculptor full time with his first solo exhibition held at Reid and Lefevre’s in 1926. Later he went on to teach at The Glasgow School of Art, becoming the Head of Sculpture in 1938-1962. He was also appointed Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland, 1938.
From 1917 until his death in 1984 Schotz exhibited widely, with work included on numerous occasions by The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and in The Royal Scottish Academy. In 1985, the year following his death, both institutions held memorial exhibitions. Details of specific works exhibited can be found in The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Art : A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Complied by Roger Billcliffe, Volume 4 (Q-Z), and in The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Volume IV (R-Z), available in The Glasgow School of Art Archives. Schotz spent most of his adult life in Glasgow, playing an active role in the City’s Jewish community. He passed away in 1984 and is buried in Jerusalem.
A variety of his sandstone sculptures adorn building and bridges across Glasgow, details and locations of which can be found in Sculpture in Glasgow: an illustrated handbook and Public Sculpture of Glasgow, both by Ray McKenzie, available in The Glasgow School of Art Archives.
The Glasgow School of Art student registration number for Benno Schotz:
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- Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, 1851-1951: http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib6_120885826
- Dictionary of Scottish Art & Architecture by Peter J. M. McEwan