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25 Years of Photography. Celebrating the Anniversary of the National Collection

Event Details

25 Years of Photography. Celebrating the Anniversary of the National Collection

Time: February 14, 2009 to April 19, 2009
Location: National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh
Street: The Mound
City/Town: Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Website or Map: http://www.nationalgalleries.…
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: National Galleries of Scotland
Latest Activity: Apr 1, 2009

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Event Description

The enormous contribution of Scottish photographers to the development of their medium will be celebrated this spring, in a special display marking the first quarter-century of the Scottish National Photography Collection.

Since 1984, nearly forty thousand photographs – dating from the beginnings of the art-form in the 1840s to the present day – have been acquired for the collection, which is housed at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Comprising a selection of 38 works, both historic and modern, 25 Years Of Photography will document the remarkable growth of the collection in its short history, and highlight the vast wealth of material in its holdings.

In 1984 the National Galleries of Scotland took the decision to build upon the Portrait Gallery’s existing collection of works by the pioneering, Edinburgh-based photographers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, and formally established the Scottish National Photography Collection. Its remit is to collect, research and exhibit photography, and to produce publications on the subject, with a Scottish bias to its energies. Scottish photographers have been internationally renowned since the very earliest days of the medium, and the collection now offers an unrivalled archive of their work and achievements.

Highlights in the display will include Hill and Adamson’s engaging portrait of The Misses Farnie with Brownie (about 1845); J Craig Annan’s stunning highland landscape The Dark Mountains (1890); Alfred Buckham’s breathtaking aerial photograph of Edinburgh and the Forth Estuary, Sunshine, Wind and Rain (about 1918); and the collection’s most recent addition, Iain Stewart’s richly atmospheric landscape, Erribol (from the series Darkeden), which was purchased in February 2009, and has been printed specially for the display.

25 Years Of Photography will bring together the work of historic and current photographers working in similar areas, to see how they echo, reflect or react against each other, and to explore three broad themes: People; Land and Stone; and Staged and Constructed.

25 Years Of Photography will also highlight the important work of the National Galleries of Scotland in commissioning modern prints of historic photographs that currently exist only as negatives. Using photographers who are particularly sympathetic to their predecessors’ work, or who are working in a similar area of practice, the collection has helped to revive the beauty and impact of lost images such as George P Lewis’s Corporation tram-driver and conductor Glasgow (1918), and Fred Bremner’s River Crossing, River Jhelum, Kashmir (1900).

The display will also reflect the international collection, which includes the work of distinguished European photographers, particularly those whose practice (exemplified by Roger Mayne’s Children playing on a lorry, Glasgow (1958)) was of particular importance in Scotland in the mid-twentieth century.

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