Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph

Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph Lionel Gossman
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-127-4 £17.95
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Visit our to read Lionel Gossman's account of coming home and Tom Normand's reflections on Annan's influential work.

The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow [...] is widely recognized as a classic of nineteenth-century documentary photography. However, Annan’s achievement as a photographer of paintings, portraits, and landscapes is less widely known. To repair this neglect, Thomas Annan of Glasgow offers a handy, comprehensive and copiously illustrated overview of the full range of the photographer’s work.
—The Photo Review Newsletter (July/August 2015): 21

Lionel Gossman’s book provides a sound overview of the beginnings of photography in 19th century Scotland, and sets Thomas Annan’s work in context before going on to discuss his most famous work in finer detail. Anyone with an interest in the history of Glasgow, documentary photography, or photography as an art form in the 19th century should fine something useful here.
— Andrew McAinsh,

In the wake of Glasgow’s transformation in the nineteenth-century into an industrial powerhouse — the "Second City of the Empire" — a substantial part of the old town of Adam Smith degenerated into an overcrowded and disease-ridden slum. The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, Thomas Annan’s photographic record of this central section of the city prior to its demolition in accordance with the City of Glasgow Improvements Act of 1866, is widely recognized as a classic of nineteenth-century documentary photography. Annan’s achievement as a photographer of paintings, portraits and landscapes is less widely known. Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph offers a handy, comprehensive and copiously illustrated overview of the full range of the photographer’s work. The book opens with a brief account of the immediate context of Annan’s career as a photographer: the astonishing florescence of photography in Victorian Scotland. Successive chapters deal with each of the main fields of his activity, touching along the way on issues such as the nineteenth-century debate over the status of photography — a mechanical practice or an artistic one? — and the still ongoing controversies surrounding the documentary photograph in particular. While the text itself is intended for the general reader, extensive endnotes amplify particular themes and offer guidance to readers interested in pursuing them further.

The University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences of Princeton University has generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.


Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph
Lionel Gossman | May 2015
x + 182 | 140 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783741274
ISBN Hardback: 9781783741281
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783741298
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783741304
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783741311
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0057
BIC subject codes: AJ (Photography and photographs), AJB (Individual photographers)


Prefactory Note and Acknowledgments

1. Introduction
2. Paintings
3. Portraits
4. Landscapes
5. The Built Environment
6. The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow
7. Epilogue

Endnotes
List of Illustrations
Index


Lionel Gossman, M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages emeritus at Princeton University, is a native of Glasgow, whose own graduation portrait was made, in 1951, at the studio of T. &. R. Annan in Sauchiehall Street who has spent his career as a teacher of literature at universities in the United States (Johns Hopkins and Princeton) but has returned to his roots to produce this tribute to one of his city’s most talented and conscientious nineteenth-century artists.
Lionel is the author of several books and many articles on historians and historiography, including two books published by Open Book Publishers: Brownshirt Princess: A Study of the 'Nazi Conscience', The Passion of Max von Oppenheim: Archaeology and Intrigue in the Middle East from Wilhelm II to Hitler. For OBP he also edited and translated The End and the Beginning: The Book of My Life by Hermynia Zur Mühlen and On History, a collection of essays by Jules Michelet in English translation.