About this artwork

The boy who posed for this painting is Jim Samson, part of a family of twelve children who lived in the Townhead area of central Glasgow, near Eardley’s studio at 204 St James Road. His brother, Andrew, the eldest of the Samson children, met Eardley first, in about 1953. Andrew and his brothers and sisters soon became her favourite models. Jim posed for five or more paintings. The Townhead area was in an overcrowded, decrepit state in the 1950s, and the poverty was extreme. Jim Samson acknowledged that part of the pleasure of posing for Eardley was that she would give them syrup and cheese sandwiches and a few pennies. He was born on Christmas day 1944 and would have been about eight or nine when he posed here. Aged sixteen, he joined the Merchant Navy and later settled in Melbourne Australia.

Updated May 2022

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Boy’s Head: A Glasgow Boy
  • date created:
    About 1953 - 1854
  • materials:
    Oil on board
  • measurements:
    27.00 x 23.00 cm; Framed: 43.50 x 39.60 x 4.50 cm / 3.00 kg
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    The Henry and Sula Walton collection: bequeathed 2012
  • accession number:
    GMA 5244
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Joan Eardley

Joan Eardley

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