Anna Atkins: Cyanotypes & Margaret Watkins: Advertising Photography
Stills will present a two-person exhibition showcasing historically important work by Anna Atkins (1799-1871) and Margaret Watkins (1884-1969), who made pioneering photographic work in the 19th and 20th centuries respectively. All works in this exhibition will be on loan from collections in Scotland.
Anna Atkins’ name is synonymous with the cyanotype process. Her scientific botanical studies, made using the camera-less ’sun print’ technique, were informed by, and contributed to, the earliest experiments in photography in Britain. The cyanotype impressions that Atkins produced in England in the 1840s and 1850s are widely regarded as the world’s first example of a photo book.
Margaret Watkins (born in Canada to Scottish/Canadian parents) had a successful career as a photographer in Boston and New York in the early 20th century before circumstances led to her relocation to Glasgow in the late 1920s. Although she continued to use a camera, her work became largely forgotten until her death in 1969 and the discovery of hundreds of photographs in her Glasgow home. Stills will present examples of her advertising images for the first time in Edinburgh.
We are grateful to the lenders to this exhibition: Glasgow Museums, The Hidden Lane Gallery, Glasgow and Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
Image: Anna Atkins Ptilota Sericea, (circa 1843) cyanotype © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection