Open Book Publishers logo Open Access logo
  • button
  • button
  • button
GO TO...
book cover


The following endnotes are often lengthy. My aim was to keep the main text uncluttered while providing additional relevant information and quotations from scholarly articles in the notes, along with abundant bibliographical indications to assist readers who might wish to pursue themes touched on in the text.

1. Brassaï, Proust in the Power of Photography, trans. Richard Howard (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001; orig. French ed., 1997), p. xi. My thanks to my colleague Suzanne Nash for alerting me to Brassaï’s book.
2. Thanks probably to an original donation by Princeton graduate David H. McAlpin 3rd, who also endowed the Chair of Photography in the Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University Library has an outstanding collection of rare albums and published volumes by Annan. Holdings include The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow in both the extremely rare (four or five copies) album of 1871 and the very limited (100 copies) photogravure edition put out by Annan’s son, James Craig Annan, in 1900; an album of Photographs of Glasgow College (1866), as well as copy no. 150 of University of Glasgow Old and New (1891), an updated edition in 350 copies, containing photogravure prints of many of Annan’s original photographs in the 1866 album and in the later Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow (1871); Photographs of the Clyde, with Descriptive Letterpress (1867); Illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition of Portraits on Loan in the New Galleries of Art (1868); The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry (both 1st ed., 1870 and 2nd ed., 1878); Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire (1885); and Views on the Line of the Loch Katrine Water Works (1859) in the later 1889 edition entitled Photographic Views of Loch Katrine.
3. On Swan, see George Fairfull Smith, “Joseph Swan (1796-1872) Engraver and Publisher,” The Private Library, 4th Series, 10 (Summer 1997), 81-92. Among the richly-illustrated and well-selling books published by Swan are Select Views of Glasgow and its Environs (1828), Select Views on the River Clyde (1830) and Select Views of the Lakes of Scotland (1834). The engravings were based on drawings by Scottish artists (John Fleming, John Knox, Andrew Donaldson), and each engraving was accompanied by a descriptive and historical text by John M. Leighton. Doubtless in order to benefit from tourist interest, the Views of the Lakes was also published in cheaper and handier editions, each one devoted to a different part of the country—Inverness-shire, Argyllshire, Perthshire, Selkirkshire, etc. In addition, Swan was commissioned to illustrate rare plants for the Glasgow Royal Botanic Institution and to supply engraved illustrations of mechanical inventions for The Glasgow Mechanics’ Magazine.
4. Talbot’s technique was a two-step system: the picture exposed in the camera formed a negative image (black for white, and vice versa) on a transparent paper base; this negative image was then used as a filter through which a second piece of sensitized paper was exposed to the light, thus reversing the tonal values. Each daguerreotype was unique, but the calotype negative, like the etcher’s plate, could be used to produce an indefinite number of prints. The calotype image was diffused slightly by the texture of the paper through which it was printed and consequently was less sharply detailed than the daguerreotype. But what [David Octavius] Hill had learned from the great dead painters allowed him to compose his pictures broadly and simply, and turn the limitations of the system to his advantage.” (John Szarkowski, Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art [New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1973], p. 16)
5. See Margaret Harker, “Scottish Contributions to Photography, 2: The Symposium,” British Journal of Photography, 130 (13 May 1983), 492-93, 502 (p. 492), citing Anna Jameson (1794-1860), a British writer and art critic. On the use of the opposition of daguerreotype and calotype to help establish photography as an artistic medium reflecting the imagination and taste of the photographer and not simply a utilitarian instrument in which technical skill was the only discriminating factor, see also the important articles by Margaret Denton, “Francis Wey and the Discourse of Photography as Art in France in the Early 1850s: ‘Rien n’est beau que le vrai; mais il faut le choisir’,” Art History, 25.5 (November 2002), 622-48., and André Gunthert, “L’Institution du photographique: Le roman de la Société héliographique,” Études photographiques, 12 (November 2002), 37-63. For a critique of the common opposition of daguerreotype and calotype as that of accurate mechanical representation and poetic emphasis on form, see Hans Rooseboom, “What’s wrong with Daguerre?” in Tanya Sheehan and Andrés Maria Zervigán, eds., Photography and its Origins (New York and London: Routledge, 2015), 29-40.
6. Cit. Bodo von Dewitz and Karin Schuler-Procopovici, eds., David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson. Von den Anfängen der künstlerischen Photographie im 19. Jahrhundert, exhibition catalogue, Museum Ludwig/Agfa Photo-Historama (Göttingen: Steidl, 2000), Introduction, p. 9. The King had been shown some calotypes by Principal David Brewster of St. Andrews University, who was himself keenly interested in photography and a friend of Talbot’s, and he had been encouraged by Talbot to stop off at the Hill and Adamson “atelier.” Carus’s response to photography was decidedly equivocal, however, and he compared it unfavourably with painting, expressing the view, common at the time, that it was a means of mechanically producing copies and thus in no way a true art. Assuredly, “such immediate copies of nature have given me ample materials for reflection.” Still, “it is not easy to get a better idea of how much a real work of art—that is the representation of the idea in the soul of the artist [. . .]—must of necessity differ from nature than by comparing a really beautiful portrait—Raphael’s Fornarina, for example—with a head copied by this process. The free work of art can and ought indeed to present everywhere less and at the same time more than nature. The mere copy gives the shadow of nature itself and therefore remains soulless, unsatisfying, and rigid. All this, however, does not prevent the neatness, exactness, perfectness, and the peculiar want of style, but at the same time want of affectation, of these latter specimens from possessing a peculiar charm for the artist.” (Carl Gustav Carus, The King of Saxony’s Journey through England and Scotland in the Year 1844, transl. By S.C. Davison [London: Chapman and Hall, 1846], pp. 336-37)
7. Bodo von Dewitz and Karin Schuler-Procopovici, eds., David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson: “Die Bilder von Hill und Adamson nehmen heute unangefochten eine ästhetische und kulturgeschichtliche Spitzenposition in der Photographie des 19. Jahrhunderts ein, als die frühesten und brillantesten Zeugnisse des jungen Mediums. Sie sind Gegenstand ständiger auch noch heute relevanter Erkenntnisinteressen und sie haben durch eine langjährige Rezeption eine bahnbrechende Wirkung auf die jeweiligen künstlerischen Arbeiten mit Photographie gehabt.” [“Today, as the earliest and most brilliant works bearing witness to the young medium, the pictures of Hill and Adamson occupy an undisputed highpoint in 19th-century photography from the point of view of both esthetics and cultural history. . .”] (Introduction by Bodo von Dewitz, p. 15); Helmut Gernsheim, The History of Photography, rev. ed. (London: Thames and Hudson, 1969 [orig. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955]), p. 168. In the same vein Sara Stevenson, Facing the Light: The Photography of Hill and Adamson (Edinburgh: Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 2002): “Hill and Adamson [. . .] produced some of the most beautiful and enduring images in the history of photography.” (Foreword, p. 7) See also the no less admiring comments of Paul Strand, himself one of the great modern photographers, in “Photography and the New God,” Broom, 5 (1922), 252-58: “Despite the primitive machine and materials with which [D.O. Hill] was compelled to work, the exposure of five to fifteen minutes in bright sunlight, this series of photographs has victoriously stood the test of comparison with nearly everything done in photography since 1845. They remain the most extraordinary assertion of the possiblity of the utterly personal control of a machine, the camera.” (Reproduced in Nathan Lyons, ed., Photographers on Photography [Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966], 138-44 [p. 140])
8. On Wilson, see Roger Taylor, George Washington Wilson, Artist and Photographer 1823-93 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1981); also Roddy Simpson, The Photography of Victorian Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), pp. 115-24.
9. On Valentine, see Simpson, The Photography of Victorian Scotland, pp. 124-28. On nineteenth-century Scottish photography, see also James Clement, “Scottish Contributions to Photography, 1: The Exhibitions,” British Journal of Photography, 130 (6 May 1983), 467-68, and Margaret Harker, “Scottish Contributions to Photography, 2: The Symposium,” British Journal of Photography, 130 (13 and 20 May 1983), 492-93, 502, 526-27, 530, 537. Princeton University’s Graphic Arts Collection has 26 early Valentine photographs of landscapes and historical sites in Scotland and England.
10. On Scottish photographers active outside Scotland, see Simpson, The Photography of Victorian Scotland, pp. 90-114. On Notman, see

Princeton University’s Graphic Arts Collection has a miniature advertising pamphlet from the Notman firm of 1867-70, in which Notman is described grandly as “Photographer to the Queen and under the patronage of the Emperor of France.”

11. According to the Honorary Secretary of the Photographic Society of Great Britain, H. Baden Pritchard, “an inspection of a series of these [portraits] proclaims the master. The portraits are simple in pose—soft, and of exceeding brilliancy. Indeed we have rarely seen such brilliant photographs. They are without glaze, but printed, evidently, on very thickly albumenized paper, Mr. Fergus showing a predilection for a surface having a slightly roseate hue. Many of the portraits have plain backgrounds; none of them show elaborate accessories. Much taste is evident in the disposal of drapery, and the flowing robes of a model are marked with harmony and detail to the extreme margins of the picture. Yet it must not be thought that Mr. Fergus strives after effect by means of gorgeous raiment. The most charming study we saw was the simple portrait of a widow lady attired in weeds and crape-trimmed dress. The hair, streaked with silver, and the pale features, were limned with rare taste and delicacy, and in perfect harmony with the white cap and black dress; there was plenty of vigour and yet no violent contrasts.” The design and outfitting of the “light and lofty studios” was also much admired, as was Fergus’s own quiet modesty. (H. Baden Pritchard, The Photographic Studios of Europe [London: Piper and Carter, 1882], pp. 183-87). Fergus must have had a fairly distinguished clientele, for in the 1880s he opened a branch studio in Cannes on the French Riviera. As the author of an article entitled “Glasgow Photographers” in the American journal Wilson’s Photographic Magazine, put it in 1901: “Fergus is one of a small body of men whose work years ago led many wealthy English people to defer visiting a studio until they went north to Scotland. [. . . He] must be a photographer of the wealthy. Every picture of his is framed. There is one of the king, colored and brilliant in a frame of gold, and another colored one of a lady in a frame of ornate gilt gesso on an enamelled green flat.” (vol. 31 [1901], p. 381) However, Fergus also made portraits of people distinguished in other ways, such as William Lloyd Garrison, the American abolitionist, Henry Morton Stanley, the explorer, and Lord Kelvin, the renowned scientist and professor at Glasgow University.
12. John Hannavy, The Victorian Professional Photographer (Aylesbury: Shire Publications, 1980), p. 6.
13. Her “gentle, yet paradoxically passionate images represent one of the most distinguished contributions to the development of High Victorian art photography.” (Graham Ovenden, Clementina, Lady Hawarden [London: Academy Editions; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1974], p. 5) On Lady Hawarden, see also Julie Lawson, Women in White: Photographs by Clementina, Lady Hawarden (Edinburgh: Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1997); Virginia Dodier, Clementina, Lady Hawarden: Studies from Life 1857-1864 ([n.p.]: Aperture, 1999); and Roddy Simpson, The Photography of Victorian Scotland, pp. 157-61.
14. On Keith, see Thomas Keith 1827-1895, Surgeon and Photographer: The Hurd Bequest, ed. C.S. Minto (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Corporation Libraries and Museums Committee, 1972); John Hannavy, Thomas Keith’s Scotland: The Work of a Victorian Amateur Photographer 1852-57 (Edinburgh: Canongate, 1981); Roddy Simpson, The Photography of Victorian Scotland, pp. 55-60; and several essays devoted to Keith in Studies in Photography, 2007.
15. Cit. by Sara Stevenson in her Thomas Annan 1829-1887, Scottish Masters 12 (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1990), p. 8. On the growing number of professional photographers in Glasgow alone, see John Urie, Reminiscences of Eighty Years (Paisley: A. Gardner, 1908), pp. 114-29 and David Bruce, Graetrex: Forger and Photographer (Edinburgh: Renaissance Press, 2013), p. 31. For a complete list of Glasgow photographers from the 1840s to the early 1900s, with samples of their work, see Thirty are listed as being active or having opened in the 1850s alone.
16. Photographs exhibited in Britain 1839-1865 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, Occasional papers no. 5, [2002]), pp. 84-87. This text is also partly viewable online at where it is complemented by a convenient searchable database.
17. Business card reproduced in Margaret F. Harker, “The Annans of Glasgow,” British Journal of Photography (12 and 19 October 1973), 932-35, 966-69 (p. 934). See also Rachel Stuhlman, “‘Let Glasgow Flourish.’ Thomas Annan and the Glasgow Corporation Waterworks,” Image, 35 (1992), 38-51 (p. 47). In 1855, while it was still in the stocks, Annan photographed the new all-iron steamship “Persia,” designed by Robert Napier of Glasgow for the Cunard line. It was the largest ship in the world at the time of its launch and the fastest trans-Atlantic liner. (See William Buchanan’s entry on Thomas Annan in John Hannavy, ed., Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, vol. 1 [New York and London: Routledge, 2007], pp. 44-47., and the same author’s “Annans of Glasgow,” Studies in Photography [2006], 20-29 [p. 20]).
18. Virginia Woolf, “Jane Austen,” The Common Reader: First Series (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1948), p. 197.
19. Bingham’s album was put out after Delaroche’s death by the latter’s dealer in Paris, the Goupil Gallery. See Stephen Bann, Parallel Lines: Printmakers, Painters and Photographers in Nineteenth-Century France (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 118-19; Laure Boyer, “Robert J. Bingham, photographe du monde de l’art sous le Second Empire,” Études photographiques, 12 (November 2002), 127-41. Boyer notes that producing photographic reproductions of paintings was seen as a way for the photographer to win a respected place, as a successor to the engraver, in the world of art: “In an effort to win its title of nobility through the practice of reproducing great works of painting, photography positioned itself as the continuator of engraving. Viewed today simply as a document, the photographic reproduction of painting was seen at the time as an artistic practice as prestigious as engraving. Increasingly represented at exhibitions, the object of critical reviews and the winner of medals and prizes (Bingham was awarded a medal at the London International Exhibition of 1862), it was widely recognized in the 1860s as a particular artistic practice and by the end of the century it had replaced engraving.” (pp. 132-33) Roddy Simpson observes that the earliest photographic illustrations of a book on painting are in Annals of the Artists of Spain, 3 vols. (London: John Ollivier, 1848) by Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, whose collection of Spanish paintings is preserved at the family’s eighteenth-century home, Pollok House, now in the southern suburbs of Glasgow and open to the public. (The Photography of Victorian Scotland, p. 171; see also
20. James Downs, “Out of the Shadows: István Szabó (1822-58), a Forgotten ‘Photographic Luminary’,” Studies in Photography (2008), 28-38 (pp. 31 and 37 [note 46]). Downs was probably referring to the text accompanying plate XXIII, “Hagar in the desert by Francesco Mola,” in Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature: “This plate is intended to show another important application of the photographic art. Fac-similes can be made from original sketches of the old masters, and thus they may be preserved from loss, and multiplied to any extent” (pages unnumbered).
21. Mark Haworth-Booth and Anne McCauley, The Museum and the Photograph (Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, 1998), pp. 11, 23, 34.
22. Musée d’Anvers (Brussels, Leipzig, Ghent: C. Muquard; Paris: Veuve Jules Renouard, 1862), pp. 10-11 (signed W.B. [Wilhelm Bürger]). On the fascinating history of the photographic reproduction of paintings, see the Introduction by Stephen Bann to his edited volume Art and the Early Photographic Album (Washington: National Gallery of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), pp. 15-16. Bann observes that many notable artists (e.g. Ingres and Courbet) were keenly interested in photographic reproductions of their paintings and discriminated carefully between photographers whose work met their standards and those whose work did not; see Stephen Bann, Parallel Lines, pp. 158-68.
23. Grace Seiberling, Amateurs, Photography, and the Mid-Victorian Imagination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), p. 86; Isobel Crombie, “The Madonnna of the Future: O.G. Rejlander and Sassoferrato,” Art Bulletin of the National Gallery of Victoria, 43 (2003) at
24. Obituary of T. Annan, British Journal of Photography, 34 (23 December 1887), 803. Commenting on Annan’s photographs of paintings for the Glasgow Art Union, the Photographic News (6 November 1863) pronounced that “Mr. Annan confirms his position as one of our very finest masters of photographic reproduction.” (Cited by William Buchanan, “The Annans of Glasgow,” Studies in Photography [2006], 22)
25. As described by Stevenson, “The Art Unions were lotteries connected with the major art exhibitions; the successful subscribers won paintings, and every subscriber received an engraving. This encouraged artists and educated the public.” (Thomas Annan 1829-1887, pp. 5-6)
26. Cited in Stevenson, Thomas Annan, p. 6. The positive view of photographs of paintings expressed by Millais and Paton was not shared by all. In the mid-1850s, David Octavius Hill had proposed replacing engravings of paintings with photographs for the annual awards to dues-paying members of the Edinburgh Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland, which he himself had founded in 1833. His proposal provoked an outcry in the Art Journal and a pamphlet entitled Photography versus the Fine Arts (1854), the author of which, representing the position that photography is a simple mechanical process devoid of any artistry, protested that “a photographic picture . . . is not Art, but the result of a scientific application of a natural element, no more allied to Art, except in this application, than is the steam engine or the electric telegraph.” Engravings continued to be the medium of choice well into the 1860s. (David and Francina Irwin, Scottish Painters at Home and Abroad 1700-1900 [London: Faber and Faber, 1975], pp. 285-86)
27. British Journal of Photography, 10 (2 November 1863), 419. Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts holds a copy of the album containing the five plates in question. It is entitled Bond and Free: Five Sketches Illustrative of Slavery by J. Noël Paton; Photographed by Thomas Annan (Glasgow: Maclure and MacDonald, [1863]), cat. no.: Rare Books E433. P31+++. Other copies of this extremely rare work are in the rare books collection at Northwestern University, cat. no.: F 306.362 P312b, and in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. For a close study of the work and the engravings drawn from it, see Susan P. Casteras, “Joseph Noel Paton’s Bond and Free: Five Sketches Illustrative of Slavery,” Vital Resources: An International Journal of Documentation, 27 (2011), 48-62. Engravings of the first and last plates accompanied an anti-slavery poem, “The Song of the Freed Woman,” by the Scottish poetess and early feminist Isa Craig (1831-1903) in the Christian Sunday Magazine (1 June 1865), 672-76.
28. Thus John Szarkowski in his classic Looking at Photographs, p. 16: “When the painting was finally finished in 1866, twenty-three years after the first photographs were made, it established Hill as one of the first artists to have converted good photography into bad painting.” Malcolm Daniel of the Metropolitan Museum in a similar vein: “It was so easy to make the portrait ‘sketches’ by means of photography that Hill’s painting was ultimately overburdened by a surfeit of recognizable faces: 450 names appear on his key to the painting. The final composition—not completed for two decades and as dull a work as one can imagine—lacks not only the fiery dynamism of Hill’s first sketches of the event but also the immediacy and graphic power of the photographs that were meant to serve it.” Not everyone entirely agrees. In an informal e-mail of 29/6/14 Ray McKenzie wrote to me: “D. O. Hill’s Disruption painting is in the Free Presbytery Hall in Edinburgh. I went to see it with a group of colleagues [. . .] a few years ago and I thought it was nowhere near as bad as people [. . .] say it is. Sure, the composition is a bit clumsy, but with that many figures what do you expect? Hill was a more than competent painter, and if you can see past the spatial incongruities there is a lot to enjoy in it.” See also a suggestive article by Duncan Macmillan, “The Disruption Painting,” Studies in Photography (2002-03), 42-49 and John Wood and Sara Stevenson, Printed Light: The Scientific Art of William Henry Fox Talbot and David Octavius Hill with Robert Adamson (Edinburgh: H.M. Stationary Office, 1986). Wood and Stevenson reproduce (p. 157) an early sketch of the painting which “introduced a dramatic depth to the picture with a single high light-source” coming from the table at the centre, while a high arched top created a large space above the human figures. These features allowed for a more conventional composition.
29. Cited in Macmillan, “The Disruption Painting,” p. 49.
30. Colin Ford, ed., An Early Victorian Album: The Hill/Adamson Collection, with a commentary by Roy Strong (London: Jonathan Cape, 1974), pp. 50-51. Ford cites a contemporary document: “It has been the ambition and aim of the Painter, to render his representation of the Disruption Assembly a desirable, if not indispensable heirloom in the homes of all Free Churchmen [. . .]. He has been careful to exclude from his canvas any episodical passage or incident which might by possibility have given offence to any individual or Church [and he] entertains the hope, therefore, that the representation [. . .] will find ready admission into the houses and Art Collections of men of all denominations of religious opinions, both in our own and other lands.”
31. William Buchanan, ed., J. Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography (New York: G.K. Hall & Co., 1994), p. 1. On the planned formats of Annan’s photograph of Hill’s painting and their prices, see Ford, An Early Victorian Album, p. 52; William Buchanan, “The Annans of Glasgow,” Studies in Photography (2006), 22, where it is asserted that each format was produced in an edition of 1,000; and especially the detailed account of formats and sales given by Roddy Simpson, “Subscribers to the Prints of the Disruption Painting,” Studies in Photography (2008), 51-57.
32. The most quirky invention of John Kibble (1815-1894), the son of the owner of a wire and metal warehouse, was a floating bicycle, on which he is said to have cycled across Loch Long. As a photographer, he is best known for creating, in 1858, the world’s biggest camera. It was mounted on a horse-drawn cart and had a lens with a diameter of 13 inches. The Kibble Palace, one of Glasgow’s most popular attractions, was originally built by Kibble in 1865 as a large iron-framed conservatory at his home, Coulport House, on Loch Long. It was re-erected in 1871 in Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens as the Kibble Crystal Art Palace and Royal Conservatory ( House no longer exists; the entire village has been demolished to make way for the Royal Naval Armament Depot where nuclear weapons removed from nuclear submarines are stored while they are being serviced.

Turning from astronomical work to the design and making of photographic lenses, German-born John Henry Dallmeyer introduced improvements in both portrait and landscape lenses, in object-glasses for the microscope and in condensers for the optical lantern. He constructed photo-heliographs for the Wilna observatory in 1863, for the Harvard College Observatory in 1864 and for the British government in 1873. Dallmeyer’s instruments took the highest awards at various international exhibitions and he was honored by both the Russian and French governments.

33. Margaret F. Harker, “Annans of Glasgow,” British Journal of Photography (12 and 19 October, 1973), 933.
34. Illustrations of Mary Queen of Scots, a poem by Henry Glassford Bell, being photographs from pictures painted for the Art Union of Glasgow by Robert Herdman, presented to the members for the year 1867-1868. This work is held by only a small number of libraries in Great Britain and the U.S. and by the Rijksmuseum Library in Amsterdam. It should not be confused with a more widely distributed, later edition of Bell’s poem, Mary Queen of Scots: A Poem (London: Raphael Tuck, [n.d.]), which was illustrated by the artist Walter G. Grieve and is more widely available at libraries in Britain, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, and at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
35. On the controversy over the Munich stained glass windows installed in Glasgow Cathedral, see the essays by Stephen Adam, a leading Glasgow artist in stained glass, Stained Glass: Its History and Modern Development (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1877), pp. 17-24, 29, and “The Stained Glass Windows,” in George Eyre-Todd, ed., The Book of Glasgow Cathedral (Glasgow: Morison Brothers, 1898), pp. 395-407; see also brief notes in George Fairfull Smith, “Glasgow Cathedral Windows” available at
36. In view of the cost at the time of illustrating them with mounted photographs, all these books appear to have been produced in very limited editions, with the result that they are currently held by only a few libraries in Britain, the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands. The Scottish Bar Fifty Years Ago is available online, however, at and the photographs of the sketches at While Annan was selected to illustrate the paintings of Sir George Harvey, the sculptress Amelia Robertson Hill, the wife of Annan’s friend David Octavius Hill, was commissioned to produce a head of the artist.
37. Lady Elizabeth Eastlake in London Quarterly Review, March 1857, article reproduced in Alan Trachtenberg, ed., Classic Essays on Photography (New Haven: Leete’s Island Books, 1980), p. 41. Lady Eastlake, the former Elizabeth Rigby, was a talented writer and critic, and was herself the subject of portraits by Hill and Adamson. On the popularity of carte-de-visite portraits among “all classes and conditions of men and women,” see John Urie, Reminiscences of Eighty Years, Chapter IX, p. 118.
38. Historical Notices of the United Presbyterian Congregations in Glasgow, edited by John Logan Aikman, with photographs by Thomas Annan (Glasgow: Thomas Annan, 1875). Copies of this rare publication are held by the National Library of Scotland; the British Library; the university libraries of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Strathclyde, St. Andrews and Aberdeen; the Pitts Theological Library, Candler School of Theology of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; the Rijksmuseum Library in Amsterdam; and the library of Keio University in Japan.
39. On the close connection between the styles of portraiture in painting and photography in the second half of the nineteenth century, see Elizabeth Anne McCauley, A.A.E. Disdéri and the Carte de Visite Portrait Photograph (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), especially ch. 6, “The Carte de Visite and Portrait Painting during the Second Empire.”
40. For a positive view of Annan as a portrait photographer, see Margaret F. Harker, “Annans of Glasgow,” British Journal of Photography (1973), 935, and Sara Stevenson, Thomas Annan, pp. 12-13. Harker reproduces one of Annan’s more charming portraits: it shows his wife Mary at Talbot Cottage, with baby James Craig Annan on her lap, eldest son John reading by her side and Anna Mary, David Livingstone’s daughter, standing and looking over John’s shoulder (p. 933).
41. Helmut Gernsheim, The History of Photography, p. 304.
42. See Ray McKenzie, “A Love Affair with Loch Katrine: Problems of Representation in Early Scottish Landscape,” Scottish Photography Bulletin, 1 (1990), 3-12 (pp. 3, 5-7). Of the 23 photographs in Talbot’s Sun Pictures in Scotland, seven are devoted to Loch Katrine, the others to Abbotsford, Melrose, Dryburgh, the Scott Monument in Edinburgh and other scenes connected with Scott’s life and work.
43. See Smith, “Joseph Swan (1796-1872) engraver and publisher,” p. 92. Some of the photographs of landscapes in works by Annan, such as Photographs of the Clyde (Glasgow: Andrew Duthie, 1867) and Photographs of Glasgow (Glasgow: T.&R. Annan,1868), are in fact of subjects featured in Swan’s Select Views on the River Clyde, engraved by Joseph Swan from drawings by J. Fleming, with historical and descriptive illustrations by John M. Leighton (Glasgow: Joseph Swan, 1830) and Select Views of Glasgow and its Environs, engraved by Joseph Swan from drawings by Mr. J. Fleming and Mr. J. Knox, with historical and descriptive illustrations and an introductory sketch of the progress of the city by John M, Leighton, Esq. (Glasgow: Joseph Swan, 1828).
44. Thus, for example, Select Views of Glasgow and its Environs (see note 43 above); The Lakes of Scotland: A Series of Views from paintings taken expressly for the work by John Fleming, with historical and descriptive illustrations by John M. Leighton and remarks on the character of the Highland Scenery of Scotland by John Wilson (Glasgow: Joseph Swan, 1834); The Poetical Works of the Ettrick Shepherd [James Hogg] with an Autobiography and Illustrative Engravings, chiefly from Original Drawings by D.O. Hill, R.S.A. (Glasgow: Blackie and Son, [1838]), 5 vols.; The Land of Burns: A Series of Landscapes and Portraits illustrative of the life and writings of the Scottish poet by Professor John Wilson of the University of Edinburgh and Robert Chambers, Esq. The Landscapes from Paintings made expressly for the Work by D.O. Hill, Esq., R.S.A. (Glasgow: Blackie and Sons, 1840).
45. Ray McKenzie, “Thomas Annan and the Scottish Landscape: Among the Gray Edifices,” British Journal of Photography, 120 (12 October 1973), 40-49 (p. 42). For an overview of Annan’s many landscape photographs, see the thumbnails in the online inventory of the extensive holdings of Annan photographs at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow: on pp. 8-83. Unfortunately, they cannot be enlarged.
46. The 1857 and 1860 editions, from different Glasgow publishers, appear not to have included illustrations. In all of Annan’s book publications, the photographs were still pasted in rather than printed along with the text. That possibility was not yet available in his time. Editions were therefore still restricted in number and copies expensive, but Annan was quick to realize the possibilities of the illustrated book. See on this topic Tom Normand, “The Book as Photography,” in The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, ed. David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, vol. 4 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), pp. 168-81.
47. Ray McKenzie, “Landscape in Scotland: Photography and the Poetics of Place,” in Light from the Dark Room: A Celebration of Scottish Photography, ed. Sara Stevenson (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1995), p. 76; William Buchanan, entry on “Annan, Thomas,” in John Hannavy, ed., Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, vol. 1, pp. 44-47. Journal passages cited in William Buchanan, “The Annans of Glasgow,” Studies in Photography (2006), 21.
48. Quoted from the 1889 edition of Photographic Views of Loch Katrine and of some of the principal works constructed for introducing the water of Loch Katrine into the city of Glasgow by T.& R. Annan and Sons, with descriptive notes by James M. Gale, M. Inst., C.E., Engineer to the Commissioners (Glasgow: Printed by James C. Erskine). The earlier edition of 1877 (Glasgow: McLaren and Erskine) is held by the National Library of Scotland, the library of the Glasgow School of Art, the Library of Congress, the George Eastman House Museum, the library of the University of Guelph in Canada and the British Art Center at Yale. As far as I have been able to ascertain, the only accessible copy of the original 1859 album is held by the Mitchell Library of Glasgow.
49. Ibid., p. 9. The contrast between the traditional view of Loch Katrine, evoked by Annan himself in his album, and that presented by the photographs in Views on the Line of Loch Katrine Water Works is noted by Rachel Stuhlman in her article “‘Let Glasgow Flourish’: Thomas Annan and the Glasgow Corporation Waterworks,” p. 43.
50. Ray McKenzie, “Thomas Annan and the Scottish Landscape: Among the Gray Edifices,” British Journal of Photography (12 October 1973), p. 42.
51. Reported in Illustrated London News (22 October 1859), p. 404.
52. Photographic Views of Loch Katrine and of some of the principal works constructed for introducing the water of Loch Katrine into the city of Glasgow (as in endnote 48 above), p. 20. On Annan’s Photographic Views of Loch Katrine as a “testament to the continuing will for civic improvement,” see Stuhlman, “‘Let Glasgow Flourish,’” p. 43. Growing up in Glasgow in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the author of this essay remembers how much pride the citizens continued to take in their city’s water—purer, they were convinced, than that of any other large city in the world. Bottled spring water was unheard of and, if it had been known, it would have been pronounced inferior.
53. Queen Victoria, Our Life in the Highlands, selected from Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands [London: Smith, Elder, 1868] and More Leaves from the Journal of a Life in the Highlands. [London: Smith, Elder, 1884] (London: William Kimber, 1968), pp. 129-30 (entry for Thursday, 2 September 1869). Queen Victoria seems not to have felt that the “steamer” she referred to was not exactly in harmony with the antique simplicity she so appreciated. A similar, even more striking unawareness is displayed in a report on a journey to Scotland undertaken by the well-known German art historian Gustav Friedrich Waagen in 1850: “By a happy combination of steamboat, railway and pedestrian journeys we managed to see Loch Lomond and Loch Long [. . .] in one day. Never before had I witnessed scenery which bore so strongly the impress of a grand melancholy. In those mists which never dispersed during the whole day, and veiled more or less the forms of the hills, I could well imagine the presence of those Ossianic spirits which pervade Macpherson’s poems. Many parts also brought Scott’s ‘Lady of the Lake’ vividly before me.” (Cit. James Holloway and Lindsay Errington, The Discovery of Scotland: The Appreciation of Scottish Scenery through Two Centuries of Painting [Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1978], p. 103). Holloway and Errington note that “Waagen’s discrepant experience, the incongruity of which he seems not to have noticed, was matched by that of thousands of other nineteenth-century tourists who were enabled by the newly engineered communications systems to reach in easy journeys the most remote of Highland lochs and glens, but who, their goal attained, blotted the presence of steamboat, coach, and train from their vision and looked only for Ossian and Scott.” Some, however, were keenly aware that the invasion of modernity undermined the Romantic view of Scotland. Lord Cockburn complained in 1844 that “from Edinburgh to Inverness the [. . .] country is an asylum of railway lunatics [. . .]. And anyone who puts in a word for the preservation of scenery, or relics, or ancient haunts, is put down as hostile [. . .] to ‘modern improvement’ and the ‘march of intellect’.” The railways, he protested, annihilated the scenic beauty they were designed to render available. “I never see a scene of Scotch beauty without being thankful that I have beheld it before it has been breathed over by the angel of mechanical destruction.” (Cit. ibid.)
54. A modern edition of this work, in somewhat altered format, was published in 2004 by the Grimsay Press of Kilkerran, in south Ayrshire, Scotland, a publisher of books, new and old, on Scottish topics.
55. See the excellent article by Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque: Thomas Annan’s Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow 1868-1871,” Scottish Photography Bulletin, 2 (1990), 40-46.
56. Of The Old Country Houses, only about 120 copies of the 1870 edition were printed and the majority of the subscribers were the property-owners themselves, though several subscribers gave London as their residence, two Bombay, and one Edinburgh. 225 copies of the 1878 edition were printed and, once again, most of the subscribers were local, though one was a resident of Washington D.C. and another of New York City. Of The Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire, only 200 copies were printed, according to its 2004 republisher, the Grimsay Press.
57. “Memoir of the Author,” signed G.N., in Mitchell’s Old Glasgow Essays (Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons; London: Macmillan, 1905), pp. xvii-xxviii (p. xxiv). The son of a city lawyer, Mitchell (b. 1826) was in the leather trade, but devoted much of his leisure time to antiquarian and local history pursuits. In recognition of these he was awarded an honorary LL.D. by Glasgow University.
58. Passages quoted are from the two Introductions, Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry, 2nd ed. (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1878), pp. ix-xvi. It should be noted that the conservatism of the editors extended well beyond a lament for the disappearance of the “old gentry.” In their Introduction to the 1870 edition, they also noted with regret and concern the displacement by the expanding city of a class of smallholders who worked their own modest tracts of land: “There are other old country houses, scattered here and there round Glasgow, that it will never be worth any one’s while to photograph, nor to decipher their trifling annals: little old one-storied farm-steadings, of the familiar Scotch type, with a but and a ben, a byre, a stable, may-be a cart-shed, and in the middle a through-gang to the kail-yard behind. They mostly stand alone: sometimes two or three nestle together into a little ‘town.’ Labourers, probably Irish, live in them, or they stand, with windows and thatch gone, like deserted shielings in a Highland glen. But a race once lived in them as proud as any Tobacco Lord [the 18th and early 19th century burgher aristocracy of Glasgow was largely composed of families active in tobacco importing and processing] of them all. For the few acres they laboured were their own, and had belonged to their forebears for generations back, and they knew that their class had done its full share in the making of Scotland. But the stars in their courses, on both sides of the Tweed, fight against the small proprietor, and, like the Yeomen and Statesmen of England, these Bonnet Lairds are mostly gone—gone and forgotten. Their little freeholds are broken up for villas, or lost in some bigger estate, the very names rubbed off the map.” (p. xiii)
59. Thus the reader is informed in the entry on Craigpark House in the 1878 edition that “Provost McKenzie’s house is gone” (p. 66); in the entry on Meadow Park House that “Meadow Park house, like its stately neighbour Whitehill, has now made way for a row of ‘flatted tenements’.” (p. 179) Gairbraid House “is much altered since the photograph was taken. In fact the old place may be said to be gone. The magnificent avenue of beech trees has been cut down, the woods on the banks of the Kelvin have been ruthlessly swept away, and the old house now stands naked and forlorn amidst a wilderness of ‘free coups,’ broken bottles and bricks, pools of dirty water, clothes lines fluttering with parti-coloured rags and all the abominations of a new suburb. Instead of the singing of the birds and the music of the soft flowing Kelvin, the air is now vocal with the discordant voices of rough men, scolding women, and ‘greeting bairns,’ and with the clang of machinery and the hiss of the steam engine.” (p. 102) As for Annfield, the editors had already noted in the text of the 1870 edition, reproduced in that of 1878, that it “was once a beautiful suburban villa, embosomed in trees, and perfectly retired. But the unceasing extension of the City has […] completely changed its rural character. The gardens are now intersected by streets, both sides of the old highway built: and all that is recognizable of the Annfield of olden time is the house itself, yet lingering in a new street leading up to it from Gallowgate, but doomed to early destruction.” (p. 3)
60. Margaret Harker, “From Mansion to Close: Thomas Annan, Master Photographer,” The Photographic Collector, 5 (1984), 81-96 (p. 83). The Picturesque movement in photography is often considered a forerunner of the Pictorial movement at the end of the century and in the early decades of the twentieth century: i.e. it sought to establish photography as an art, by emphasizing the formal features of the images produced by the photographer and his own role in selecting them. See endnote 98 below.
61. “Historically, two distinct approaches to photographing architectural subjects can be identified. The early photography of architecture [. . .] was founded on an implicit trust in the medium’s documentary veracity, and adhered to strict representational conventions intended to maintain its supposed neutrality and objectivity: the influential French Commission des monuments historiques, for example, began the process of documenting France’s historical treasures with a strict set of rules for how its cathedrals and châteaux would be recorded. [. . .] An almost diametrically opposite approach [. . .] originates with the language of early art photography, which was very much indebted to the conventions of painting. [. . .] It was against the rules set out for the ‘proper’ documentation of architecture and monuments that many of the Pictorialists rebelled. The English photographer [Frederik] Evans thus chose to evoke rather than record the cathedrals of northern France in soft and atmospheric focus. In the United States, Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler moved towards a harder line in work which developed elements of the abstract.” (Andre Higgott and Timothy Way, eds., “Introduction,” Camera Constructs: Photography, Architecture and the Modern City [Farnham: Ashgate, 2012], pp. 11-12)
62. Report of the Buildings of Glasgow University appended to the Report of the Scottish Universities Commission of 1858, cited in J.D. Mackie, The University of Glasgow 1451-1951: A Short History (Glasgow: Jackson, 1954), p. 280. The report was published in 1863. See also J. Morrison in Sanitary Journal, 1 (1877), p. 268: “There was in the very heart of the city one of the foulest ulcers that ever disgraced a modern city. Every approach to the old University was through a moral sewer of a most loathsome description, crowded with population, showing by its physique the extent to which the human form divine could be degraded by drunkenness and every attendant form of vice and profligacy.” (cit. by C.M. Allan, “The Genesis of British Urban Redevelopment with Special Reference to Glasgow,” Economic History Review, new series, 18 [1965], 598-613 [pp. 602-03])
63. An updated edition of this work, limited to 350 sumptuously produced in-folio copies, with extensive and richly informed historical texts, additional photographs of the new University buildings and portraits of the current professors (i.e. heads of department) in each of the departments of the University’s four faculties of Arts, Theology, Law and Medicine, was published by T. & R. Annan & Sons and James MacLehose & Sons in 1891, using the photogravure process, under the title University of Glasgow Old and New. Princeton University’s Marquand Library owns copy number 150.
64. The previously mentioned (endnote 38) Historical Notices of the United Presbyterian Congregations in Glasgow, edited by John Logan Aikman, with photographs by Thomas Annan (Glasgow: Thomas Annan, 1875) contained over fifty photographs of the church buildings, along with portraits of the ministers.
65. As early as 1828, in the “Sketch of the Progress of Glasgow” that opened Joseph Swan’s Select Views of Glasgow and its Environs, engraved by Joseph Swan from drawings by Mr. J. Fleming and Mr. J. Knox (Glasgow: Joseph Swan, 1828), John Leighton described the city’s many “chemical manufactories,” among which “the works of Messrs Charles Tennant & Coy are considered the largest in the world, and cover many acres of ground.” (pp. ix-x) Two decades later James Pagan again referred to “the vast extent of the iron and engineering trades of Glasgow” and described Charles Tennant’s St. Rollox chemical works, founded in 1800, as “the most extensive manufactory of the kind in the world, covering a space of upwards of ten acres”—soon to be 100 acres—and employing over a thousand workers (Fig. 6:1). The “monster chimney,” erected in 1843 “for the purpose of carrying off any noxious gases which might arise in the process of their manufacture” and known as “Tennant’s stalk”—one of hundreds that came to be part of the cityscape in those years—is said to have “stood 500 feet above the street” and was the tallest structure of its kind in the world (James Pagan, Sketch of the History of Glasgow [Glasgow: Robert Stuart, 1847], pp. 89-90). By 1870, 70% of all the world’s iron vessels and two-thirds of all steamships were built on the Clyde (Allan Massie, Glasgow: Portraits of a City [London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1989], p. 54). In the years just before the First World War, 80% of the world’s sugar-refining machinery, 71% of its railway locomotives and 18% of its ships were built in Glasgow and Clydeside. (Seán Damer, Glasgow: Going for a Song [London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1990], pp. 39-40)
66. Allan Massie, Glasgow: Portraits of a City, p. 63. In 1891, the author of Glasgow and its Environs: A Literary, Commercial and Social Review, Past and Present (London: Stratten and Stratten, 1891) referred in the opening pages to “this large and stately city—the second in the British Empire [. . .], this great Scottish hive of industry,” whose “wonderfully advanced municipal institutions have often been pointed out as models for the imitation of cities slower in growth, if more aristocratic in reputation.” (p. 7) On the history of Glasgow in the nineteenth century, see Hamish Fraser and Irene Maver, eds., Glasgow, vol. II: 1830 to 1912 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996), the richly documented general history of Irene Maver, Glasgow (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000), the last section of the handsomely illustrated architectural history by Carol Foreman, Lost Glasgow: Glasgow’s Lost Architectural Heritage (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2002), pp. 138-207 and the moving account of the transformation of the city, section by section, from its industrial heyday to the present in two books by Ian. R. Mitchell, This City Now: Glasgow and its Working-Class Past (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2004) and A Glasgow Mosaic: Explorations among the City’s Architectural Icons (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2013). Population figures given by Rev. A.G. Forbes in the text accompanying Annan’s Photographs of Glasgow (1868) were 12,700 in 1708, just after the Treaty of Union; 77,385 in 1801; 147,043 in 1821; 448,639 at the census of 1861 (4th unnumbered page of the Introduction). Until 1912, population figures did not include contiguous but still administratively independent areas such as Govan and Partick.
67. In one twelve-day period in 1847, no fewer than 12,940 poor Irish landed directly in Glasgow or in nearby Ardrossan (Damer, Glasgow Going for a Song, p. 54). In 1851, nearly 60,000 immigrants arrived from Ireland and Irish immigrants made up over 18% of the city’s population (Fraser and Maver: Glasgow, vol. II, p. 149). In the words of Friedrich Engels, “the rapid expansion of British industry could not have taken place if there had not been available a reserve of labour among the poverty-stricken people of Ireland.” (The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, trans. and ed. W.O. Henderson and W.H. Chaloner [Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1968 (1958)], p. 104) While immigrants from other parts of Scotland tended to seek accommodation in newer tenements outside the city center, the totally impoverished Irish settled in their thousands in the cheapest dwellings they could find, that is, in the crowded tenements of the old city. (Michael Pacione, Glasgow: The Socio-spatial Development of the City [Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 1995], p. 113)
68. Friedrich Engels, Condition of the Working Class, ed. cit., p. 42. Because of this feature of Scottish townhouses, the situation in the old town of Edinburgh in the nineteenth century, while not as acute as in Glasgow, also provoked horror and indignation in well-meaning visitors; see, for instance, George Bell, M.D., Day and Night in the Wynds of Edinburgh (Edinburgh: Johnstone & Hunter, 1849 [3rd ed.]).
69. Edwin Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Gt. Britain, with an Introduction by M.W. Flinn (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, [1965]), p. 99. On the previous page Chadwick gives a gruesome account of his own inspection, with Dr. Neil Arnott, of dwellings in the rundown, poor sections of Glasgow: “‘We entered a dirty low passage like a house door, which led from the street through the first house to a square court immediately behind, which court, with the exception of a narrow path around it leading to another long passage through a second house, was occupied entirely as a dung receptacle of the most disgusting kind. Beyond this court the second passage led to a second square court, occupied in the same way by its dunghill; and from this court there was yet a third passage leading to a third court, and third dungheap. There were no privies or drains there, and the dungheaps received all filth which the swarm of wretched inhabitants could give; and we learned that a considerable part of the rent of the houses was paid by the produce of the dungheaps. Thus, worse off than wild animals, many of which withdraw to a distance and conceal their ordure, the dwellers in these courts had converted their shame into a kind of money by which their lodging was to be paid. The interiors of these houses and their inmates corresponded with the exteriors. We saw half-dressed wretches crowding together to be warm; and in one bed, although in the middle of the day, several women were imprisoned under a blanket, because as many others who had on their backs all the articles of dress that belonged to the party were then out of doors in the streets. This picture is so shocking that, without ocular proof, one would be disposed to doubt the possibility of the facts.”
70. “On the Health of the Working Classes in Large Towns,” The Artizan, no. X (October 31, 1843), 228-31 (pp. 230-31), quoted by Engels, Condition of the Working Class, ed. cit., p. 45. See also the passage from J.C. Symons, Arts and Artisans at Home and Abroad (1839) quoted by the editors of the 1968 Stanford University Press edition of Engels on p. 46, footnote 2: “This district is bounded by the Clyde and the Trongate and extends in length from the Saltmarket to the Briggate. There are other similar districts skirting the High Street […] The wynds near the Trongate are, however, the densest and the dirtiest . . . This quarter consists of a labyrinth of lanes, varying from 7 to 14 feet in width, out of which numberless entrances open into small square courts, appropriately designated ’closes’, with houses, many of them in a dilapidated state [. . .], and a common dunghill, reeking with filth in the centre. Revolting as was the outward appearance of these places, I confess I was little prepared for the filth and destitution within. In some of these lodging rooms we found a whole lair of human beings littered along the floor, sometimes 15 and 20 in number, some clothed and some naked, men, women, and children, all huddled promiscuously together. Their bed consisted of a layer of musty straw, intermixed with ambiguous looking rags, of which it was difficult to discover any other feature than their intense dirtiness.” In the same vein, Dr. D. Smith, one of the city’s District Surgeons, in 1843: “The tenements in which I have visited are occupied from the cellars to the attics. [. . .] The entrance to these abodes is generally through a close, not unfrequently some inches deep with water or mud, or the fluid part of every kind of filth, carelessly thrown down from unwillingness to go with it to one of the common receptacles; and in every close there is at least one of these places, situated immediately under the windows of the dwelling-houses, or together with byres, stables, etc., forming the ground floor, while the stench arising therefrom pollutes the neighbourhood and renders the habitations above almost intolerable.” (Quoted by Damer, Glasgow: Going for a Song, p. 74)
71. Quoted by Engels, Condition of the Working Class, ed. cit., pp. 45-46.
72. Notes of Travel, 4 vols., vol. 2, pp. 110-11 (May 1, 1856) and pp. 378-79 (July 1, 1857) in The Complete Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 22 vols., vol. 20 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1900).
73. Damer, Glasgow: Going for a Song, p. 76; Michael Pacione, Glasgow: The Socio-spatial Development of the City, p. 117.
74. See Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Condition (1842), p. 397: “When Dr. Arnott with myself and others were examining the abodes of the poorest classes in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we were regarded with astonishment; and it was frequently declared by the inmates, that they had never for many years witnessed the approach or the presence of persons of that condition” [i.e. “persons of the wealthier classes living in the immediate vicinity”].
75. Glasgow: Thomas Murray, 1858. Preface, p. v. The author’s name, “Shadow,” was a pseudonym of Alexander Brown, a local letterpress printer.
76. Alexander Smith, “A Boy’s Poem,” Part I, in his City Poems (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1857), pp. 122-23.
77. On measures taken to deal with slum conditions, both nationally and locally, in the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century, see C.M. Allan, “The Genesis of British Urban Redevelopment with special reference to Glasgow,” pp. 599-602; on measures taken in Glasgow in particular, ibid., p. 603.
78. Ibid., p. 604. According to Carol Foreman, the area affected covered 90 acres, with a population of 50,000. “The Act empowered the Corporation to form thirty-nine new streets and to realign twelve others; to compulsorily acquire old properties and demolish them; to dispose of the ground released on lease or feu; and to control rebuilding. In addition, the Act allowed the Corporation to acquire land for the purposes of rehousing the dispossessed tenants and to erect and maintain on any of the lands acquired by it such dwelling houses for mechanics, labourers and other persons of the working and poorer classes.” (Lost Glasgow, pp. 143-44)
79. Wilfried Wiegand, Frühzeit der Photographie 1826-1890 (Frankfurt: Societätsverlag, 1980), p. 217.
80. The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow (Glasgow: J. MacLehose and Sons, 1900), p. 22.
81. On the use of text and captions by photographers to “’fix’ the image, refusing it the right to vacillate between past and present, ideal and real,” see the comments of Shelley Rice on Edward S. Curtis’s monumental The North American Indian (twenty volumes of illustrated text and twenty supplementary portfolios of unbound gravures, 1907-1930) in her article “When Objects Dream,” The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century, ed. Andrew Roth (New York: PPP Editions, 2001), pp. 3-33 (p. 5).
82. Though the album is untitled and undated, the front cover carries in gilt tooling, below the city’s coat of arms, the notice “Glasgow Improvements Act 1866. Photographs of Streets, Closes &c. Taken 1868-71.” See A.L. Fisher’s three-part catalogue of The Old Closes and Streets in Scottish Photography Bulletin, Part I (Spring 1987), 4-8 (p. 5).
83. The passage quoted concerning the second album was put together from the Glasgow Town Council minutes for 15 July 1877 and cited by Fisher, p. 6, and by Anita Ventura Mozley in her Introduction to the 1977 Dover Publications edition of The Old Closes and Streets (Thomas Annan: Photographs of the Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow 1868/1877, with a Supplement of 15 Related Views [New York: Dover Publications, 1977]), p. v. For the numbers of sets produced, William Buchanan proposed a figure of “probably four” in 1871 and sixty in 1878 in his entry on Annan in John Hannavy’s Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography, vol. 1, p. 45. I have accepted the numbers given by A.L. Fisher in Scottish Photography Bulletin (Spring 1987), 4-8 and 17-27 (pp. 6-7). According to Fisher, the extant copies of the 1871 album are held by the Mitchell Library, the library of the University of Glasgow, the library of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. However, Princeton University’s album of The Old Closes and Streets, which belonged at one time to the library of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow, is also that of 1871. It may, in sum, be even harder than the texts of Buchanan or Fisher freely acknowledge to determine exactly how many albums were made in 1871, or even in 1878. Single albumen prints from 1871 and carbon prints from 1878, for instance, of which a fair number are still extant, might have been collected and bound together by individuals or institutions. The figure of sixty copies for the 1878 album may well be on the low side, according to Sonny Maley of Glasgow University Library. (My thanks to Mr. Maley for sharing the results of his research with me in an e-mail of July 8, 2014.) In her Introduction to the 1977 Dover Publications edition (p. v and endnote 9 on p. xiii), Anita Ventura Mozley gives a figure of 100 copies for the 1878 album, citing information provided by Jerold C. Maddox, the Curator of Photography at the Library of Congress. According to Maddox, referring in turn to an article entitled “Notes from the North,” in the British Journal of Photography for 19 April 1878, John Nicol, “who figures in the Trustees’ requests to have prints of Annan’s photographs made, ‘had the pleasure of publishing a few notes of a late visit to the carbon printing establishment of Mr. Annan, of Glasgow, recently erected at Lenzie.’ Annan showed Mr. Nicol [. . .] ‘3,000 prints from thirty negatives of the old closes and other interesting portions of Glasgow now removed by the Improvement Trust to make way for more modern erections.’” In contrast, in an illustrated catalogue of the prints from the 1878 album published by Lunn Gallery/Graphics International (Washington, D.C. [1976? 1980?]), Henry Lunn Jr. estimated that there were at most 25 to 40 sets of the 1878 album (misdescribed as the “1877” album). This low figure may, however, reflect the gallery’s commercial interest in the rarity of the sets, since it was selling off single prints from a set that had come into its possession.
84. There is disagreement among the scholars even on the number of copies of the 1900 edition. The figures of 100 and 150 are those given by William Buchanan in John Hannavy’s Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, vol. 1, p. 46. Other scholars give a figure of 100 copies each for both the Annan and the MacLehose publications. (David Bate, “Illuminating Annan,” Portfolio Magazine, 3 [Spring/Summer, 1989], p. 19; Anita Ventura Mozley, Introduction to the 1977 Dover Publications edition, p. vi; Margaret Harker, “From Mansion to Close: Thomas Annan, Master Photographer,” p. 94)
85. On these characteristics, see Robert Evans, “History in Albumen, Carbon, and Photogravure: Thomas Annan’s Old Glasgow,” in Nineteenth-Century Photographs and Architecture, ed. Micheline Nilson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 59-74.
86. See, for example, Ian Spring, Phantom Village: The Myth of the New Glasgow (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1990), p. 16; Rachel Stuhlman, “‘Let Glasgow Flourish’: Thomas Annan and the Glasgow Corporation Waterworks,” p. 50. A similar appreciation of blur is expressed by Graham Bush in his edition of the photographs of old and threatened sites in London by Henry Dixon and the brothers Alfred and John Bool: “The photographs often contain activity. Figures stare at the camera, moving perhaps an arm to leave a smear on the plate. Some have obviously been told to stand still; others go about their business unconscious of the camera. Sometimes carts stay long enough to register on the plate, and sometimes they pass leaving tracks in the air. Fast emulsions would have lost these qualities, which for me are important. Photographers of that time, however, went to great lengths to keep their subjects still and exposures as short as possible.” (Old London, photographed by Henry Dixon and Alfred & John Bool for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London [London: Academy Editions/New York St Martin’s Press, 1975], p. 10)
87. Spring, Phantom Village, p. 31. Cf. Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977), p. 106: “One of the central characteristics of photography is that process by which original uses are modified, eventually supplanted by other uses—most notably by the discourse of art into which any photograph can be absorbed.”
88. E.g. Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque,” p. 40. Responding to interpretations of Annan’s work “as polemical and reformatory in purpose,” Lawson argues that “the historical facts of the matter inform us that the photographs were commissioned after the decision had been made to clear the slums: they were not part of the long and hard-won battle to prick the social conscience and bring about social amelioration.” In a somewhat similar vein, Mozley (Introduction to the Dover Publications Edition of 1977, p. vii) states that “Annan was not a social reformer or investigator with a camera. He was no John Thomson, whose texts to Street Life in London (1877-1878) were vivified with quotations from nomads, cabmen, boardmen and flood victims. [. . .] His work is more like that of A. & J. Boole and Henry Dixon, who took photographs for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London in the 1870’s and 1880s.” So too Wolfgang Kemp, “Images of Decay: Photography in the Picturesque Tradition,” October, 54 (Autumn, 1990), 102-33 (p. 124): “It is certain that Annan did not take these photographs to facilitate or to justify the large-scale demolition of the old city center by illustrating its inhuman conditions. [. . . ] He leaves more of the life that is crammed in these abysses to the spectator’s imagination than he shows of it.” (Original German text of this essay, 1978) For Eve Blau, on the other hand, “Annan did not shy away from showing the filth and degradation of the life lived within [these places], thereby providing implicit justification for tearing them down” (Eve Blau, “Patterns of Fact: Photography and the Transformation of the Early Industrial City,” in Eve Blau and Edward Kaufman, eds., Architecture and its Image [Montreal: Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1989], pp. 36-57 [p. 48]). Likewise, the English Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm used two of Annan’s photographs from The Old Closes and Streets to illustrate his edition of Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 (Chicago: Academy Chicago, 1969).
89. See notably Elizabeth Lindquist-Cock, “Sentiment, Compassion, Straight Record: The Mid-Victorians,” The Massachusetts Review, 19 (Winter 1978), special issue devoted to photography, 717-28: “Others, like Thomas Annan, attempted to rouse the public to the terrible conditions in Glasgow’s slums by presenting stark and truthful images of the downtrodden poor in the dark tenement canyons”; (p. 717) “Thomas Annan used his camera as a social weapon…” (p. 723). Similarly for Wilfried Wiegand, Frühzeit der Photographie 1826-1890), Annan’s “Aufnahmen aus den Slums von Glasgow (1866-1977) sind der erste Höhepunkt sozialkritischer Photographie” (p. 217). In a selection of Annan’s photographs of Glasgow, James McCarroll compares Annan to Jacob Riis in his depiction of slum life: “His views of the closes are genuinely moving and full of pathos. They reveal the horrific living conditions endured by tens of thousands of Glaswegians in the midst of one of the world’s most economically vibrant cities.” (Glasgow Victoriana: Classic Photographs by Thomas Annan [Ayr: Fort Publishing Ltd., 1999], pp. 6-7) Such judgments are probably inevitable in view of the fact that “perhaps as a means of differentiating it from ‘photojournalism,’ to which it is closely related, modern definitions of documentary photography have focused less on its role in recording reality than on its ability to demonstrate the need for change.” (Constance B. Schultz, “Documentary Photography,” in Oxford Companion to the Photograph, ed. Robin Lenman and Angela Nicholson [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005], pp. 173-79),
90. Thus, according to Peter Baron Hales, reviewing possible anticipations of Jacob Riis’s “social documentary” photographs in his How the Other Half Lives, “the purpose of [The Old Closes and Streets] might only loosely be considered sociological” (Silver Cities: The Photography of American Urbanization 1839-1939 [Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005], p. 297). See also Anita Mozley, “Thomas Annan of Glasgow,” Image, 20, no. 2 (June 1977), 1-12 (p. 1). Riis was in any case likely to have been more aware of engravings made from photographs of slum tenements by the American photographer Edward Anthony than of Annan’s work. These engravings were published in a Report of the Council of Hygiene and Public Health of the Citizens’ Association of New York (New York: D. Appleton, 1865) several years before Annan began photographing the old closes and streets of Glasgow.
91. Photographs of Glasgow (Glasgow: Duthie, 1868), sections on “Trongate and Cross” and “The Parks: in connection with view of West-End Park.”(Pages unnumbered)
92. On the “Missions héliographiques” and on Marville, see André Gunthert, “L’Institution du photographique: Le roman de la Société héliographique” (as in endnote 5 above); Eugenia Janis, “Demolition picturesque: Photographs of Paris in 1852 and 1858 by Henri Le Secq,” in Perspectives on Photography: Essays in Honor of Beaumont Newhall, ed. P. Walch and T.F. Barnes (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986), pp. 33-66; Marie de Thézy, en collaboration avec Roxane Dubuisson, “Le Photographe des rues de Paris,” in their Marville Paris (Paris: Éditions Hazan, 1994), pp. 28-36; and Patrice de Moncan, Charles Marville: Paris photographié au temps d’Haussmann (Paris: Éditions du Mécène, 2009). According to De Thézy, Marville’s commission dated from 1865 and resulted within three years in an album of 425 images. A similar concern to inventory and record buildings and monuments, especially those under threat of decay or destruction, inspired the celebrated 24-volume Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France (1828-78) by Baron Taylor and the poet Charles Nodier. On Annan and Riis, see Robert Evans, “History in Albumen, Carbon, and Photogravure: Thomas Annan’s Old Glasgow,” pp. 61-62. Ian Spring also makes the point that “Annan’s work cannot be compared to other photographic projects directly involved in the legal process of instigating slum clearance—for example, the contemporary photographs of the Quarry Hill area of Leeds.” (Phantom Village, p. 14) It does, however, seem somewhat comparable with that of fellow-Scot Archibald Burns, who was given a similar commission to Annan’s by the Edinburgh Improvement Trust in 1871 and took 26 photographs of buildings in the old closes between the University and Cowgate shortly before they were demolished. It is entirely possible, of course, that other photographers learned from Annan’s work to produce images with a reformist intent. Some of the photographs of Little Collingwood Street in Bethnal Green (ca.1900) by John Galt, a missionary with the London City Mission, bear a strong resemblance to Annan’s The Old Closes and Streets in the 1900 photogravure edition created by James Craig Annan. (See, for instance,
93. Irene Maver, Glasgow, pp. v, 172-74. Cf. Carol Foreman, Lost Glasgow: “For the loss of so many of its historic buildings, Glasgow has only itself to blame. It has never been sentimental about its old buildings. It has been a point of civic pride to destroy and build better, and if old buildings got in the way of any new plan, they were swept away, supposedly in the name of progress. [. . .] Should we commend or condemn the Victorians for their redevelopment of the city? Probably a bit of both as they did make the town a more pleasant and much healthier place to live, and if, by removing the slums, which were the worst in the country, the picturesque was sacrificed, the means justified the end.” (pp. vii and ix)
94. On Photography, p. 76. Sontag might have added that those who commissioned photographic records of what they themselves were destroying also used photography to record what they took pride in building. Hence Glasgow Corporation’s commissioning Annan to record the construction of the Loch Katrine waterworks; the Canadian Grand Trunk Railway’s commissioning William Notman to make a photographic record of the building of the Victoria Bridge over the St. Lawrence; or James Mayer de Rothschild’s commissioning Édouard Baldus, around the same time, to record the construction of the railway from Boulogne to Paris, Lyon and the Mediterranean. In this respect, photography was taking over from prints and painting; Louis XIV had had his “battle painter” Adam Frans van der Meulen record a scene from the construction of Versailles in 1668, and Annan’s friend D. O. Hill had made paintings of the Glasgow and Garnkirk railway in 1830-31, published in lithographic form as Views of the Opening of the Glasgow and Garnkirk Railway (Edinburgh: Alex Hill, 1832). The documentary photograph offered an age of revolutionary change, acutely aware of the transience of everything, a valued means of recording what was inevitably subject to the effects of time.
95. “The insistent recurrence of the word ‘Old’ in the titles of [Annan’s] publications” was noted by Ray McKenzie in his article “Thomas Annan and the Scottish Landscape: Among the Gray Edifices,” p. 47. Annan himself, as a young man working on the Fife Herald, wrote in February 1848 of his desire, with the coming of drier weather, to “get out to rove among the gray edifices of bygone years.” (Cit. Sara Stevenson Thomas Annan 1829-1887, p. 4). In his essay “The Urban Landscape between Progress and Decay” (Studies in Photography [1998], 5-9) James Lawson argues that photography is by its very nature closely associated with time and change: “Photography [. . .] simultaneously affirms objective fact and draws attention to the contingent nature of that fact. It is obsessed by time. In its ability to record, it preserves, if not the substance of the thing, the image of a moment’s existence. Thus, by its very nature, it forces acknowledgement that time changes things [. . .] Change being the condition of photography and the sense of the photographic image being something wrenched from the object and, with the passing of time, moving further and further from it, the recording of objects that already announced the erosive power of time was an obvious role for photography. The poetic photographer would seek out objects upon which time had done its work.” (p. 7)
96. Wolfgang Kemp, “Images of Decay,” pp. 104-05, 107. The late eighteenth-century quotation is from Sir Uvedale Price, Essay on the Picturesque (1794). Frank Sutcliffe, the still widely-admired photographer of the fishing town of Whitby and its inhabitants in the last decades of the nineteenth century, made the point forcefully in 1890: “Is it because we have been so in the habit of going only for the labelled objects that our eyes are not sufficiently alert and our senses properly tuned to respond to the greater charms of the rarer beauties?” (Cit. ibid., p. 111) The predilection of photography, from the outset, for the hidden, “the unofficial reality behind the façade of bourgeois life,” for “uncovering a hidden truth, conserving a vanishing past,” and for “discovering beauty in the humble, the inane, the decrepit” and in what was often seen as ugly, is, of course, a central theme of Susan Sontag’s now classic On Photography (1973); see especially, pp. 15-16, 55-56, 76, 78-79, 89-90, 102. Sontag quotes with approval a remark by Princeton photographer Emmet Gowin: “Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn’t attending to. My photographs are intended to present something you don’t see.” (p. 200)
97. Neil Matheson, “Demand: Allegories of the Real and the Return of History,” in The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age, ed. Damian Sutton, Susan Brind, Ray McKenzie (London: I.B. Taurus, 2007), p. 38. Thus, for example, the Edinburgh newspaper The Scotsman in the mid-nineteenth century: “The artist cannot fail to tell; he can neither flatter nor detract from the appearance of the object which is presented to him; he is a secondary agent.” (Cit. Hannavy, The Victorian Professional Photographer, p. 8)
98. As Ray McKenzie points out, the “Picturesque” fulfilled a function similar to that played by the more sophisticated, late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century concept of Pictorialism, represented by the work of the American photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen and, in Scotland, by Thomas Annan’s own son James Craig Annan. It promoted “a particular understanding of how a picture can be made to evoke meanings beyond the mere ‘facsimile’ of an object’s appearance” and, as A.J. Anderson put it in his The Artistic Side of Photography in Theory and Practice (London, 1910), can serve as “the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual meaning.” See McKenzie, “Introduction: Pictorialism and its Malcontents,” Photography 1900: The Edinburgh Symposium (Proceedings of the Conference of the European Society for the History of Photography), ed. by Julie Lawson, Ray McKenzie, A.D. Morrison-Low (Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland/National Galleries of Scotland, 1992), pp. 13-17 (p. 14). See likewise Shelley Rice’s comment on the Pictorialists: “For these artists, the click of the shutter opened the door to eternity. The photographic image, rightly perceived, elevated reality to the level of symbol.” (“When Objects Dream,” p. 5)
99. William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1844), The text relates directly to Plate VI, “The Open Door.” On the view of Talbot’s calotype as facilitating the practice of photography as an art (in contrast to the mechanical accuracy of the daguerreotype), see Sara Stevenson, The Personal Art of David Octavius Hill (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 31-40. Stevenson quotes (p. 36) a remark by the history painter Benjamin Robert Haydon: “I am convinced that the Calotype is the greatest thing for Art since the Elgin Marbles.”
100. Quoted by Alfred H. Wall in British Journal of Photography, 16 February 1863. Sutton’s concern to promote photography as a creative art is demonstrated in his many practical manuals as well as in the Introduction he wrote for Louis-Désiré Blanquet-Evrard, Intervention of Art in Photography (London: Sampson Low, Son & Co., 1864), translated from French into English under Sutton’s direction. When working with Blanquet-Evrard in Lille, Sutton explained, he came to admire “not only his great taste in matters relating to art, but his strenuous efforts to introduce, by legitimate means, artistic effects into the mechanical work of the camera and printing frame.” (p. 3) Wall shared Sutton’s understanding of photography: “No two trees or rocks are alike; light and shade change with every hour of the day, and with every such change the scene becomes a new one. [. . .] The finest and most beautifully varied scenery in the world may make and does commonly make the most uninteresting photographs, simply because the photographer [. . .] has neither chosen his point of view, his light and shade, nor his atmospheric effect with a proper care.” (“On taking Picturesque Photographs” [1867], cit. in Kemp, “Images of Decay,” pp. 109-10) Among many similar defenses of photography as an art and not simply a technique, see R.J. Chute, “Portrait Photography,” The Photographic World, 24 (December 1872), p. 355: “Photographic chemistry, with all its attendant processes and manipulations, may be easily learned; [. . .] but in reference to art there is something indefinable that cannot be told or written, it must be felt. As with music, there must be some inherent talent, some natural taste for it.”
101. “Upon photography in an artistic view and its relation to the arts” (a talk given at the Royal Photographic Society, 3 February 1853), Photographic Journal (3 March 1853), quoted in Helmut Gernsheim, Creative Photography: Aesthetic Trends 1839-1960 (New York: Dover, 1991 [orig. London, 1962], p. 74). See also Newton’s complete text, reproduced in Bill Jay and Dana Allen, eds., Critics 1840-1880 (Phoenix (?): Arizona Board of Regents, 1985), 49-52 (p. 50). In the same vein, Lady Elizabeth Eastlake in London Quarterly Review (March, 1857)—see endnote 37.
102. Cited in Kemp, “Images of Decay,” p. 111. On the allegedly still influential (and in the writer’s view deleterious) ambition of photography to be regarded in the same light as painting, see Paul Strand, “The Art Motive in Photography,” The British Journal of Photography, 70 (1923), 612-15. According to Strand, a “generally erroneous notion of artist [namely, that ‘everybody who slings a little paint is an artist’] has been and is the chief worry of photographers and their undoing. They too would like to be accepted in polite society as artists, as anyone who paints is accepted, and so they try to turn photography into something which it is not: they introduce a paint feeling. In fact, I know of very few photographers whose work is not evidence that at bottom they would prefer to paint if they knew how.” (Photographers on Photography, ed. Nathan Lyons, pp. 144-54 [p. 145])
103. F. Wey, “De l’influence de l’héliographie sur les beaux-arts,” La Lumière, 1 (9 February 1851), p. 3, cited in Gunthert, “L’institution du photographique,” p. 20. La Lumière, the organ of the Société héliographique, was the first journal devoted to photography in Europe. Francis Wey’s position was, in fact, complex; see the outstanding article by Margaret Denton, “Francis Wey and the Discourse of Photography as Art in France in the Early 1850s,” Art History, 25 (November 2002), 622-48. Jules Champfleury, albeit one of the founding members of the Société héliographique (1851), still insisted on the “mechanical” character of photography: “Ten daguerreotypeurs meet up in the countryside and subject the scenery to the action of light. Beside them, ten students of landscape painting set to copying the same site. Once the chemical operation is complete, the ten plates are compared: they depict exactly the same landscape, without variation. On the other hand, after two or three hours at work the ten pupils [. . .] lay their sketches out next to each other. There is not a single similar one among them.” (Cit. in Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Painting and Photography 1839-1914 [Paris: Flammarion, 2012], p. 122) In our own time Susan Sontag has insisted that a distinctive individual style is less characteristic of photographers than of painters inasmuch as photography remains more bound to an impersonal representation of its subject matter: “A photographer is not like a painter, the role of the photographer being recessive in much of serious picture-taking and virtually irrelevant in all the ordinary uses. So far as we care about the subject photographed, we expect the photographer to be an extremely discreet presence. [. . .] In the vast majority of photographs which get taken—for scientific and industrial purposes, by the press, by the military and the police, by families—any trace of the personal vision of whoever is behind the camera interferes with the primary demand on the photograph that it record, diagnose, inform. [. . .] It requires a formal conceit (like Todd Walker’s solarized photographs [. . .]) or a thematic obsession (like Eakins with the male nude [. . .]) to make work easily recognizable. For photographers who don’t so limit themselves, their body of work does not have the same integrity as does comparably varied work in other art forms.” (On Photography, pp. 133-34) On continuing debate about the status of photography, see also in Pierre Bourdieu, ed., Photography. A Middle-brow Art (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990; orig. French, Un Art moyen, 1965) the articles by Pierre Bourdieu (pp. 13-72), Robert Castel and Dominique Schnapper (pp. 103-128), Jean-Claude Chamberdon (pp. 129-49) and Luc Boltanski and Jean-Claude Chamberdon (pp. 150-173).
104. In 1896 James Craig Annan was elected to the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, the European equivalent of the American Photo-Secession. Both groups espoused the view of photography as art. In 1899 Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin (no. 30, pp. 345-48) reported in detail on a lecture given by J.C. Annan to the Leeds Camera Club in 1899 on “Painters Who Have Influenced Me.” A lecture on “Photography as a Means of Artistic Expression,” given on 4 May 1910 to the Edinburgh Photographic Society, was published in December of the same year in Alfred Stieglitz’s influential Photo-Secession journal Camera Work (no. 32, pp. 21-24), and in 1914 an entire number of the journal was devoted to J.C. Annan and his work. See William Buchanan, James Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography (New York: G.K. Hall, 1993).
105. For a reproduction of Annan’s sketch, see Roddy Simpson, The Photography of Victorian Scotland, p. 151. Simpson observes that a note below the sketch “indicates Annan’s concern about perspective and distance and the problem of relating foreground to middle and background, confirming his awareness of compositional rules in painting.” Simpson devotes a section of his book (pp. 157-85) to the debate provoked in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by photography’s claim to be art.
106. Among those impressed by the absence of images of extreme squalor, one could point to the following: David Bate, “Illuminating Annan,” Portfolio Magazine, 3 (Spring/Summer, 1989), p. 19: “None of Annan’s photographs actually represent the kind of overcrowding and ‘squalor’ described by official written accounts”; Kemp, “Images of Decay,” p. 124: “Annan’s photographs do not give the impression of a terribly overpopulated slum; instead we are given the feeling that the people are there to animate the scenery”; Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque,” p. 45: “. . . his deliberate exclusion of some of the more shocking aspects of the place is important”; Ian Spring, “Midnight Scenes and Social Photographs,” in Debra N. Mancoff and D.J. Trela, eds., Victorian Urban Settings: Essays on the Nineteenth-Century City and its Contexts (New York and London: Garland, 1996), pp. 195-213 (pp. 201-02): “What we see is an illuminating but highly constructed view of these people. . .They appear perhaps disinterested, posed in a fashion, and docile. . . .The exact antithesis of Cruikshank’s engraving: no vice, no drunkenness, no crime, merely an orderly people, husbands, wives and children, all preoccupied with maintaining a degree of cleanliness.” See also Evans, “History in Albumen, Carbon, and Photogravure,” p. 64.
107. James Lawson, “The Urban Landscape between Progress and Decay,” p. 5. “Signs of sickness and vice—to elicit the compassion and indignation of the social historian—are disappointingly absent,” according to Lawson, from the street scenes of both Annan and his Edinburgh contemporary, Archibald Burns.
108. Mozley, Introduction, p. xi.
109. In the text accompanying Annan’s photograph of George Square (the pages are unnumbered), Forbes refers to “the very distinct and otherwise excellent view presented by our artist”; in the text accompanying the photograph of the Royal Exchange, to “the beautiful view of the Exchange, here presented by our artist”; and in the text accompanying three photographs of the Cathedral, to “the third of these views presented by our artist.”
110. See the final quotation at under “Thomas Annan” On Annan’s talk, see The master of this useful blog, contacted by e-mail, was unfortunately unable to locate a surviving text of Annan’s talk.
111. Referring to post-World War I “social document” photography in Weimar Germany, Soviet Russia and Depression-era America, Jens Jäger drew attention to the difficulty of determining “from the images themselves whether the perspective of the photographers was conservative or socialist, or whether ultimately aesthetic considerations were decisive.” (Photographie: Bilder der Neuzeit [Tübingen: Edition diskord, 2000], p. 111) A similar difficulty attends many earlier photographs. James Lawson makes the interesting argument that the seemingly contradictory “social-historical” and “art-critical” approaches to photography, especially documentary photography, reflect two essential aspects of the medium: its origin and its development. “The creation of records, substitutions and reproductions has been an important human ambition, and industry has historically seen the invention of a great variety of utilitarian machines and processes. [. . .] Stamping, casting, and die-making processes allowed for the imitation and reproduction of objects on an industrial scale. However, insofar as the mechanical process was recognized in the product, it was denied artistic credentials, and very many manufacturing processes never became artistic means. Photography, though, was different. [. . .] Despite the possibility of the photograph existing in multiple copies, [photography is] not a process of mechanical reproduction in the sense in which stamping, casting and die-making are. [. . .] Perhaps the most salient difference is that it has no contact with the thing to be copied. [. . .] The notion of record remains embedded deep within the art of photography, but equally ineluctable is remoteness of object from process. The space separating the photograph from its object is occupied by factors making the object relative to conditions over which the process has no control. So, viewpoint limits the object to an aspect consisting in a singular configuration of planes, conditions of light make the object ontologically inconstant, and scale is inexplicit in relation to size.” (“The Urban Landscape between Progress and Decay,” pp. 6-7)
112. Sara Stevenson, Thomas Annan 1829-1887, p. 17.
113. Ray McKenzie, “Landscape in Scotland: Photography and the Poetics of Place,” in Light from the Dark Room: A Celebration of Scottish Photography. A Scottish-Canadian Collaboration, ed. Sara Stevenson (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1995), p. 76. See also Ian Spring. “Midnight Scenes and Social Photographs,” pp. 207-309, and Tom Normand, Scottish Photography: A History (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2007), p. 91.
114. Margaret Harker, “From Mansion to Close,” p. 91. For a similar judgment see Caroline Arscott, “The Representation of the City in the Visual Arts,” in The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, vol. 3, ed. Martin Daunton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 811-832. “Thomas Annan’s photographs of Glasgow (1868-71) are haunting images of disease-ridden crumbling alleyways destined for demolition. The conundrum is the way the stained, seeping, closely spaced walls, signifiers of overcrowding, foul air, sewage and disease, are rendered in visually arresting form. The many similar closes generate varied compositions which balance blocks and patches of light and dark, the reflective and matt, and, above all, differentiate the textures of the stonework that dominates the environment.” (p. 823)
115. E-mail of May 23, 2014. As it happens, there is sometimes a tension in Chimacoff’s own photographic work that is strikingly similar to Annan’s. An exhibition of his photographs at the Princeton Public Library in October 2014 highlighted the unsightliness and impracticality of the tangles of overhead wires and cables found in most American towns and suburbs. (Their vulnerability to extreme weather conditions results in frequent loss of power to thousands of homes.) Many of the photographs exhibited, however, were formally quite beautiful.
116. See especially Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque,” pp. 42-43, on Annan’s “quiet, contemplative photographs.”
117. It would be rash to assert that such intentions played absolutely no role. Annan apparently shared the belief of many reform-minded Christians that education would help resolve the problem of poverty and had considered opening a reading room for the poor (Stevenson, Thomas Annan (1829-1887), p. 15). See also Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque”: “Annan is known to have been a religious man, involved in the Church’s effort to improve the lot of the inhabitants through voluntary education schemes. A man of liberal and Christian commitment, he would have welcomed the reforms and approved the legislation of the Civic Improvement Trust for whom he carried out the commission.” (p. 43) See likewise Normand, Scottish Photography: A History: “Annan was a religious man, an advocate of abstention from alcohol, and something of a socially conscious reformer. His drive to reform was fundamentally shaped by his religious commitment and so the desires of Glasgow’s Improvement Trust—sanitary housing, a disease-free environment, a policed inner city, a morally constructed community—were allied to Annan’s views. In other words, Annan’s ‘documentary’ photographs were ‘political’ only in the qualified sense that they proposed a paternalistic form of social engineering.” (p. 97) Annan may well have shared the views of Rev. A.G. Forbes, who contributed the text to Photographs of Glasgow and who noted in his Introduction that the city had worked hard to remedy frequent fires and flooding and to deal with “riots among the people in seasons of famine or in circumstances of political discontent.” He conceded that there is “poverty and crime,” and attributed these to “a large amount of ignorance.” Nevertheless, “there is also a pleasing extent of intelligence, and integrity, and charity.” Ultimately, Forbes had confidence in the future of the city with its ever expanding trade and industry. Change is not to be feared. It is always “for the better [. . .] when it is the result of freedom and enlightened personal independence.” The cure for poverty and crime lies in educating the poor and making them self-reliant.
118. Thomas Prasch, “Photography and the Image of the London Poor,” in Victorian Urban Settings: Essays on the Nineteenth-Century City and its Contexts, pp. 179-94 (pp. 180-84). See also, on Beard and Thomson, Peter Baron Hales, Silver Cities, p. 297.
119. On this view of the poor and the working class as a “race apart,” see George W. Stocking, Victorian Anthropology (New York: The Free Press, 1987), pp. 212-15. Stocking summarizes Engels’ description of the working class (not without some exaggeration) as a “‘race apart’—physically degenerate, robbed of all humanity, reduced morally and intellectually to near bestial condition, not only by economic exploitation, but by competition and association with the coarse, volatile, dissolute, drunken, impoverished Irish who slept with their pigs in the stinking slums of Manchester.” (p. 213) Prasch quotes Mayhew’s view of society as divided into “two distinct and broadly marked races, viz. the wanderers and the settlers—the vagabond and the citizen—the nomadic and the civilized tribes.” (“Photography and the Image of the London Poor,” p. 179)
120. See especially “28 Saltmarket,” “46 Saltmarket,” “37 High Street,” “65 High Street,” “118 High Street,” “29 Gallowgate.”
121. Sontag, On Photography, pp. 7, 14. A notable example of such symbolic appropriation might well be the celebrated twenty-volume masterpiece of the ethnologist and photographer Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian (1907-1930). Financed in part by J.P. Morgan, this textual account of the native Americans, containing 1,500 small plates and 722 large gravures, “was printed on hand-made paper, [. . .] bound with irregularly grained Morocco leather, and published in a limited edition of 500 sets that sold for $5,000 each.” As Shelley Rice observes, “The subjects of Curtis’s photographs might be the dispossessed of American society but the intended audience certainly was not. [. . .] Consumers of such luxury items were also symbolically supporting a romantic, and equally fictitious, vision of their own past: their ‘pure’ civilization unravaged by the vulgar, mechanized masses.” (Shelley Rice, “When Objects Dream,” p. 4)
122. Sontag, On Photography, pp. 11-12, 20-21. See the summary of Sontag’s position by Alexander Hutchison in Porfolio Magazine, 3 (Spring/Summer 1989): “For Sontag the person behind the camera is too often—maybe always—a ‘voyeuristic stroller,’ who is best characterized by words like ‘acquisitive,’ ‘violating,’ ‘predatory’.” (pp. 4, 10, 99) A recent incident, reported in the London Daily Mail of a woman being beaten to death by two other women, while bystanders, instead of going to her assistance, used their cell phones to videotape the scene, provides disturbing confirmation of Sontag’s thesis. See
123. Sontag, On Photography, p. 107. Cf. pp. 101-02: “The view of [Alfred] Stieglitz, [Paul] Strand and [Edward] Weston—that photographs should be, first of all, beautiful (that is, beautifully composed)—seems thin now, too obtuse to the truth of disorder. [. . .] Weston’s images, however admirable, however beautiful, have become less interesting to many people, while those taken by the mid-nineteenth-century English and French primitive photographer [. . .] enthrall more than ever. [. . .] As these formalist ideals of beauty seem, in retrospect, linked to a certain historical mood, optimism about the modern age (the new vision, the new era), so the decline of the standards of photographic purity represented by Weston [. . .] has accompanied the moral letdown experienced in recent decades. In the present historical mood of disenchantment one can make less and less sense of the formalist’s notion of timeless beauty. Darker, time-bound models of beauty have become prominent, inspiring a revaluation of the photography of the past; and, in an apparent revulsion against the Beautiful, recent generations of photographers prefer to show disorder.”
124. Ibid., p. 110.
125. Zahid R. Chaudhary, After-Image of Empire: Photography in Nineteenth-Century India (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), pp. 157-71. See also the entry on Hooper by Kathleen Howe in John Hannavy, ed., Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, vol. 1, pp. 713-14.
126. The Victorians themselves, Annan’s contemporaries, appear to have anticipated to some extent the contemporary debate about documentary photographs that depict famine, poverty, war and other forms of human misery. Hooper’s devastating photographs of the Madras famine victims provoked controversy at the time: “The Victorians debated whether taking these pictures was an exploitation of people’s suffering and whether detachment created by cameras is a craven excuse for apathy. Others maintained that the photographs raised awareness; a contemporary paper reported: ‘People who still delude themselves with the idea that the famine, if it has any existence at all, has been greatly exaggerated, could see [the photos], and they would lay aside that notion for good … Their knowledge will enable them to testify that these photographs are not representations of exceptional cases of suffering, but are typical of the actual conditions of immense numbers of people in the Madras Presidency.’ But soon, news came out that after taking such photos, Hooper would send the famine victims back to the countryside without giving them food, treatment or help. For this astonishing cruelty Hooper was roundly skewered in the British press.” (Alex Selwyn-Holmes at See also Chaudhary, After-Image of Empire, loc. cit.
127. My thanks to my colleague Suzanne Nash for directing me to Apollinaire’s story. The brilliant and powerful Tavernier film, entitled Death Watch in its original English-speaking version, is an early denunciation of the TV “reality” show.
128. Martha Rosler, “In, Around, and Afterthoughts (on documentary photography),” in Martha Rosler, Works (Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1981, repr. 2000). Cf. a similar comment on the iconography of famine in Africa, which belatedly purports to stir the conscience of viewers and has turned the popular image of the continent into one of “a desperate, poor, passive victim”: “We can easily lament the limitations of famine iconography, especially the way it homogenises, anthropomorphises, infantilises and impoverishes. But above all else we have to understand it is a visual sign of failure. The recourse to the stereotypes of famine is driven by the complex political circumstances photography has historically been unable to capture. This means that when we see the images of distressed people, feeding clinics and starving babies, we are seeing the end result of a collective inability to picture causes and context.” ( See also Walter Benjamin, “Little History of Photography”: “The creative in photography is its capitulation to fashion. The world is beautiful—that is its watchword. In it is unmasked the posture of a photography that can endow any soupcan with cosmic significance but cannot grasp a single one of the human connections in which it exists [. . .]. As Brecht says: ‘[…] a photograph of the Krupp works or the AEG tells us next to nothing about these institutions.” (Selected Writings, ed. by Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland and Gary Smith, vol. 2, 1927-1934 [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999], p. 526)
129. John Tagg, The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1988), pp. 92, 118-19, 150-51. In a similar vein, Victor Burgin, ed., Thinking Photography (London: Macmillan, 1982). According to David Levi Strauss (“The Documentary Debate: Aesthetic or Anesthetic,” in Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics, ed. D. Levi Strauss [New York: Aperture, 2003], pp. 3-11), Rosler’s and Tagg’s critiques, “focussing on the aestheticization of the documentary image [. . .] were accepted and absorbed into mainstream writing on photography.” (p. 5) He quotes from an article severely critical of the great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado in The New Yorker (9 September 1991): “Salgado is too busy with the compositional aspect of his pictures and with finding the ‘grace’ and ‘beauty’ in the twisted forms of his anguished subjects. And this beautification of tragedy results in pictures that ultimately reinforce our passivity toward the experience they reveal. [. . .] Beauty is a call to admiration, not to action.” Similarly, in the catalogue of a 1990 exhibition of Salgado’s work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano acknowledged that “as an article of consumption poverty [. . .] is a commodity that fetches a high price on the luxury market” at the present time, even while arguing that Salgado’s work transcends this exploitation of misery: “From their mighty silence these images, these portraits, question the hypocritical frontiers that safeguard the bourgeois order and protect its right to power and inheritance.” (Both passages cited on pp. 5-7)
130. Annan’s destiny was by no means unique. As noted, the work of Hine and Riis also came to be valued more for its formal than for its documentary qualities. It has been argued that the work of the celebrated late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French photographer Eugène Atget was perceived differently by his French contemporaries and by later admirers in the United States. Atget, it is claimed, “was a commercial image-maker” whose “photographs and albums were sold to artists, libraries, and historical societies eager to preserve the past. [. . .] This artist chose to capture the Old Paris, to hold on to the relics of the past overwhelmed by the speeding traffic of the present day: the narrow cobblestone streets, the horse-drawn carts, the poor peddlers hawking their wares.” His images “were produced as documents, recording monuments and sites that were clearly identified by their image-maker; but they were published in the United States, after the photographer’s death, as art objects in a large and beautiful volume, where the images are severed from the captions that ‘fix’ them in historical time and space (the captions are listed in a separate section discreetly hidden at the back of the book).” American Pictorialism, in short, transformed the perception of the original, primarily documentary images. “The Old Paris, like Curtis’s Navajo tribe, drifted into eternity once it reached American shores.” (Shelley Rice, “When Objects Dream,” p. 11) The painter and stained glass artist Brian Clarke expresses regret that photography has “become part of the system that fifty years ago it seriously questioned,” photographers having also come to adopt “galleries and museums” as “in many cases the singular end and goal to which they aspire.” (“Toward a New Constructivism,” in Brian Clarke, ed., Architectural Stained Glass [London: John Murray, 1979], p. 17)
131. On Photography, p. 148.
132. See “The Speech Event and the Functions of Language,” in R. Jakobson, On Language, ed. Linda R. Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), pp. 69-79. Jakobson’s text was written at a much earlier date, ca.1956.
133. Naomi Rosenblum catches something of this polyvalence in a brief comment on Annan’s The Old Closes and Streets in her World History of Photography (New York: Abbeville Press, 2007): “A project that originated in the desire to make a record of slum buildings slated for demolition in central Glasgow also helped establish the documentary style even though its purpose was nostalgic rather than reformist. [. . .] Because the project was not conceived in a reformist spirit, no statistical information about living conditions or comments by the inhabitants—who appear only incidentally in the images—were included. Nevertheless, Annan’s images might be seen as the earliest visual record of what has come to be called the inner city slum—in this case one that excelled in ‘filth . . .drunkenness . . . evil smell and all that makes city poverty disgusting.’ The vantage points selected by the photographer and the use of light to reveal the slimy and fetid dampness of the place transform scenes that might have been merely picturesque into a document that suggests the reality of life in such an environment. Whatever the initial purpose of the commission and despite their equivocal status as social documentation, many of Annan’s images are surprisingly close in viewpoint to those of Jacob Riis, the first person in America to conceive of camera images as an instrument for social change. Sensitivity to the manner in which light gives form and dimension to inert object also links Annan’s work with that of French photographers Charles Marville and Eugène Atget, and supplies further evidence that the documentary style in itself is not specific to images commissioned for activist programs.” (pp. 358-59)
134. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), p. 4.
135. Ibid., pp. 76-77, 115. Cf. a comment by Annan’s son, James Craig Annan, in a talk printed in Stieglitz’s Camera Work in December 1910. Though he was one of the early adherents of the Pictorial school in photography, Annan expresses opposition to the manipulating of images captured by the camera: “The peculiar quality of a gum print is that at one stage of the process of production the print is in such a soft state, somewhat analogous to a recently painted oil picture, and while it is in this state liberties may be taken with it by rubbing off portions of the semi-fluid picture. [. . .] Interesting as these gum prints may be, I am rather inclined to believe that the most perfect work has been and will be done in pure photography, for the reason that by pure photography one may reproduce objects, with all their contours, tones, and modelling with absolute fidelity.” (“Photography as a Means of Artistic Expression,” in William Buchanan, ed., J. Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography [see endnote 31 above], pp. 124-25) Similar reservations had been expressed by the poet and critic Sadakich Hartmann, a frequent contributor to Stieglitz’s Camera Work, in “A Plea for Straight Photography” (1904), reproduced in Peter Bunnell, ed., A Photographic Vision: Pictorial Photography, 1889-1923 (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1980), pp. 148-67.
137. Sontag, On Photography, p. 6.
138. See, for instance, the text accompanying Plate X, “The Haystack,” in The Pencil of Nature: “One advantage of the discovery of the Photographic Art will be, that it will enable us to introduce to our pictures a multitude of minute details which add to the truth and reality of the representation, but which no artist would take the trouble to copy faithfully from nature. Contenting himself with a general effect, he would probably deem it beneath his genius to copy every accident of light and shade; nor could he do so indeed, without a disproportionate expenditure of time and trouble, which might be otherwise much better employed. Nevertheless, it is well to have the means at our disposal of introducing these minutiae without any additional trouble, for they will sometimes be found to give an air of variety beyond expectation to the scene represented.” On Talbot’s hesitation between an “indexical definition” of the photograph and a “hesitant” claim, made in connection with three plates in The Pencil of Nature (VI, “The Open Door”; X, “The Haystack”; and XIV, “The Ladder”) “about the art-rivaling potential of photography,” between emphasis on the reproducibility of the photographic image and appreciation of the “variability of the print” in relation to the negative, see Carol Armstrong, Scenes in a Library: Reading the Photograph in the Book 1843-1875 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), pp. 107-08, 115, 123-24, 160-65.
139. On Photography, p. 103. David King’s extraordinary Ordinary Citizens: The Victims of Stalin (London: Francis Boutle, 2003), consisting entirely of full-page reproductions of mugshots from the interrogation files of individuals arrested and shot during Stalin’s reign of terror from the late 1920s until his death in 1953, demonstrates vividly that in certain circumstances (here the use of natural light and longer time exposure) even the mugshot can be movingly expressive and esthetically engaging.