Monday, July 23, 2012

Close encounters - of the Thomas Annan kind

The recently refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery has an excellent small exhibition of the work of pioneering Victorian photographer Thomas Annan. In 1866, Glasgow's City Improvement Trust set about planning major improvements to the city. They commissioned Annan to document what was going to be demolished, and the result was the first photographic record ever made of slum housing and a fascinating and haunting series of photographs of closes, wynds and vennels in its own right. The images are set against a large scale map of the city which graphically illustrates the density of the housing which was swept away.