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Girls with bicycles

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Girls with bicycles

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This photograph forms part of an archive which belonged to Isabella T. McNair. Born in Kilmarnock, McNair gained an MA in English from the University of Edinburgh before moving to British India in 1917 to teach at Women’s Christian College in Madras. In 1928 she was appointed Principal of Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore. McNair followed in the footsteps of a wave of British missionary women who began arriving in India during the late nineteenth century. The setting of the photograph would suggest one of the Colleges. It most likely depicts one of the many students who were inspired by McNair’s teaching. In Kinnaird she helped create a rare early twentieth-century institution that promoted female intellectual equality and that encouraged women to consider professional careers after graduation. McNair was convinced that women’s education should be intellectually equal to that of men and placed great emphasis on the value of service to society. Judged by the social standards of Lahore in the 1930s and 1940s, Kinnaird students enjoyed a liberated atmosphere.


  • Acc. No. PGP 502.26
  • Medium Silver gelatine print
  • Size 10.70 x 6.50 cm
  • Credit Presented to the collection by Mrs Muriel Hartley 2009