MacKinnon Collection chronicles Scottish life and identity from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries
- Susan Mansfield
- 12 November 2019
Exhibition celebrates an unparalleled collection of Scottish photography
One of the last great collections of photography still in private hands, which was saved for the nation in a £1million acquisition last May, will go on show for the first time this autumn at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
The MacKinnon Collection, assembled by Aberdeen-based pharmacist and photography enthusiast Murray MacKinnon, contains more than 14,000 images which span a century of history, and was jointly purchased by the National Galleries of Scotland and National Library of Scotland, with support from the Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund.
Scotland played a key role in the early development of photography, and the collection includes more than 600 images from this time including the work of Edinburgh-based pioneers Hill and Adamson, and an exquisite view of Loch Katrine by William Henry Fox Talbot dating from 1844.
With images dating from the 1840s until the 1940s by Thomas Annan, Julia Margaret Cameron, George Washington Wilson, Roger Fenton and many more, it captures a century of change, from small-scale farming and fishing to the development of large-scale industry, from the tenements of Glasgow to the Scottish regiments in the Boer War. National Librarian Dr John Scally described the project to save the collection from being broken up or sold overseas as 'akin to buying Scotland's photographic album of 14,000 pictures and bringing it home'.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Sat 16 Nov–Sun 16 Feb.