Constance Lawson, née Philip, was the daughter of the sculptor John Birnie Philip and Frances Black. She was one of ten children. Her older sister Beatrix married first the architect E. W. Godwin, and, after his death, Whistler. In the summer of 1879 she married the painter Cecil Lawson. She was widowed as a young woman, her husband dying in 1882 at the age of 30.
Lawson produced mainly flower paintings in oil and watercolour. She exhibited regularly at the R.A.
In 1891 she offered Chelsea Free Library a statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds by her father as it stood on the site of her late father's residence and studios (#02491).
Gosse, Edmond W., Cecil Lawson: A Memoir, exhibition catalogue, Fine Art Society, London, 1883; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.