Born in India of Scots parents, Basil Spence studied architecture in Edinburgh and London. After the Second World War he won the competition to design a new cathedral for Coventry. This building became a symbol of regeneration for the British nation and brought Spence widespread acclaim. He went on to design many of the new British universities and provided modern facilities for the old universities, including Edinburgh University Library. Lida Moser's photograph was one of a series produced for American Vogue in 1949.