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- 1940s (Creation)
Level of description
4 of 5
Content and Structure
Scope and content
View of the main auditorium.
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Name of creator
The firm was founded by Thomas Annan in 1855. Originally from Dairsie in Fife, one of seven children, he moved to Glasgow as an apprentice engraver, and was friendly with a trainee Chemist called Berwick. They set up business together in 1855 as photographers. Berwick soon left to pursue a medical career.
In 1857 the firm moved to premises in Sauchiehall Street, a lot of business at that time came from photographing country houses and mansions around Glasgow, and also from photographing paintings whilst at the houses. General landscape views were photographed then sold as individual prints bound into albums. In 1859 a works was opened at Hamilton. At this time Thomas Annan lived next door to David Livingstone and the explorer's sisters, and took the well known portrait of him. He also took a series of images documenting the new Glasgow Water Work Scheme including a view of Queen Victoria at the Official opening.
In 1868 The City of Glasgow Improvement Trust approached Thomas Annan to take pictures of some of the slum areas prior to demolition. This is claimed to be one of the first times photography was used as documentary evidence. Exposure times in some cases were measured in minutes. Thomas's sons James and John joined the business. James became friendly with the famous Glasgow Architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and took the definitive portrait of him with his distinctive "floppy bow tie" as well as many contemporary images of his works. The firm was the official photographers for the Glasgow Exhibitions of 1888, 1901, and 1911. Also awarded the Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria. The firm continued to take photographs of Glasgow depicting the tramcars and various street scenes and buildings. The Gallery side of the firm flourished in the late 1800s when a major new painting would be borrowed from an artist or collector, it then became a great social occasion to view this piece in a dimly lit room then purchase a photogravure print of it. This side of the firm gradually evolved into selling paintings and etchings rather than just prints. Many famous artists exhibited in Annan's over the years including a show by one L.S. Lowry in 1946.
Mrs Margaret McCoard, 17.04.02.
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photograph, original mount
Dimensions: 495 x 420 mm
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