Our influential books on the visual arts are engaging, accessible and affordable, combining high-quality writing and rigorous research with the best in contemporary design. As well as producing books that provide access to the national collection and accompany exhibitions, we publish a number of titles on different aspects of art, art practice and art history, furthering the Galleries' programme of scholarly research. Our publications are designed to enhance your visitor experience and to reflect and extend the Galleries’ educational and scholarly activities.
You can find our current Publications Catalogue below, which includes upcoming publications as well as new and recently published titles and a selected backlist.
Scottish Masters series
A series of booklets on Scottish artists from the 17th century onwards published by the National Galleries of Scotland. Each volume contains an illustrated essay on the artist and their time, twelve full-page reproductions and a selected bibliography.
Scottish Masters 2: Alexander Carse c.1770-1843
By Lindsay Errington
Published in 1987 by the National Galleries of Scotland
Details of his early life are scant: he is said to be a native of East Lothian and born somewhere in the 1770s. At some point he worked as student and assistant to David Allan, whose idiosyncratic outlook on life is stamped on Carse’s earlier imaginative drawings. In 1801 Carse was admitted as a student in the Trustees’ Academy. He worked and exhibited consistently throughout his life, and his works were frequently bought and commended, but he fell into great financial difficulty in later life, and was supported by an artists’ fund until his death.
Scottish Masters 8: James Cox 1849-1901
By Sara Stevenson
Published in 1988 by the National Galleries of Scotland
Born in 1849, James Cox was the eldest son of George Addison Cox of Dundee, who had found significant wealth through the jute trade. One of seven children, James was the only one to take an interest in art; active as an amateur painter and photographer between the late 1870s and 1880s, he later retreated from the photography scene for unknown reasons. While practising photography, Cox’s wealth allowed him to work experimentally, trying different equipment and processes and exploring movement and light; he was deemed to be ahead of his time in the field of photography.
Scottish Masters 12: Thomas Annan 1829-1887
By Sara Stevenson
Published in 1990 by the National Galleries of Scotland
Thomas Annan is known to the world as the man who took a remarkable group of photographs in the centre of the City of Glasgow between 1868 and 1871. A native of Dairsie in Fife, he began his trade as an apprentice lithographic writer and engraver with the Fife Herald, in time turning his attentions to professional photography. In 1866, the city of Glasgow, where Annan by this time lived, finally passed an Act through parliament enabling it to destroy the dreadful slums of the old town- in advance of this demolition, Annan was contracted to make a historical record of the buildings. The resulting 30 or so photographs are undeniably beautiful and curiously moving records of life in the slums.