James Craig Annan, 1864 - 1946. Photographer
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James Craig Annan, 1864 - 1946. Photographer 1902
  • Scottish Art
James Craig Annan was the son of the Glasgow photographer, Thomas Annan. After studying chemistry, he joined the family firm. In 1883 he travelled to Vienna to learn the photogravure process from the inventor, Karl Klic. Working mainly in photogravure and platinum printing, he produced images of great subtlety and variety. He had a particular influence on North American photography through Alfred Stieglitz who exhibited and published his work in New York. He also renewed public interest in the work of Hill and Adamson by producing exquisite photogravures from their calotype negatives. This simple portrait by a close friend suggests an artist who 'did what seemed to be the most beautiful and most natural thing' at any one moment.

Glossary Open

Calotype

The first effective version of photography, using drawing or writing paper for both the negative and the positive. The paper was sensitised with potassium iodide and silver nitrate, exposed and developed in gallic acid and silver nitrate.

Negative

Specifically a transparent material on which the tones and colours of a photograph are in reverse, from which a print is made. The term 'negative space' refers to the area around an object.

Photogravure

A photographic negative is transferred onto a copper plate, which can then be manipulated like an etching. It allows for creative working and results in a wide range of tones in the finished work.

Platinum

Prints made on unsurfaced paper, containing light-sensitive iron salts and a platinum compound.

Calotype, Negative, Photogravure, Platinum

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 2205
  • Medium Chalk and watercolour on paper
  • Size 32.20 x 20.10 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1972