Explore Deaf history | Walter Geikie

Presenter Trudi Collier and Senior Curator Helen Smailes explore the fascinating story of Edinburgh-born artist, Walter Geikie (1795–1837).

Geikie was an avid sketcher, painter and etcher whose artworks captured the every-day life of his native city over more than 25 years. His detailed drawings give us a unique insight into the working classes of 19th century Edinburgh. An important collection of Geikie’s drawings and etchings can be found in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at Modern Two, where you can explore thousands of Scottish and international works on paper. All visitors are welcome to visit the Study Room, by appointment.

Geikie was not only a significant artist but was also a very important figure for the Deaf community. After losing his hearing as a child, Geikie learnt how to fingerspell with the help of his family. He later became a pupil and tutor at the Edinburgh Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, helping other deaf people to learn how to communicate. During the 1830s he cofounded the Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society, known today as Deaf Action.   

This film is a learning resource, produced as part of our regular British Sign Language (BSL) programme.

British Sign Language (BSL)

British Sign Language (BSL)

Find more information about our Deaf-led tours in British Sign Language (BSL) as well as resources created for visitors with BSL as a first or preferred language.

Prints and Drawings Study Room at Modern Two

Prints and Drawings Study Room at Modern Two

Housing the international and Scottish collections of historic, modern and contemporary works of art on paper, the Prints and Drawings Study Room gives access to over 35,000 works of graphic art not on permanent display.

12 July 2023