Annan photographs
A unique glimpse of old Glasgow from the original archive collection

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The firm was founded by Thomas Annan in 1855.

Originally from Dairsie in Fife, one of seven children, he moved to Glasgow as an apprentice engraver, and was friendly with a trainee Chemist called, Berwick. They set up business together in 1855 as photographers. Berwick soon left to pursue a medical career.

In 1857 the firm moved to premises in Sauchiehall Street, a lot of business at that time came from photographing country Houses and Mansions around Glasgow. Also photographing paintings whilst at the houses. General landscape views were photographed then sold as individual prints bound into albums.

In 1859 a works was opened at Hamilton. At this time Thomas Annan lived next door to David Livingstone and the explorer's sisters, and took the well known portrait of him. He also took a series of images documenting the new Glasgow Water Work Scheme including a view of Queen Victoria at the Official opening.

In 1868 The City of Glasgow Improvement Trust approached Thomas Annan Thomas Annanto take pictures of some of the slum areas prior to demolition. This is claimed to be one of the first times photography was used as documentary evidence. Exposure times in some cases were measured in minutes !!

Thomas's sons James and John joined the business. James became friendly with the famous Glasgow Architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and took the definitive portrait of him with his distinctive "floppy bow tie" as well as many contemporary images of his works.

The firm was the official photographers for the Glasgow Exhibitions of 1888, 1901, and 1911. Also awarded the Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria. The firm continued to take photographs of Glasgow depicting the tramcars and various street scenes and buildings this collection has become world famous for, and is a useful tool for research as well as making attractive images for homes and offices.

The Gallery side of the firm flourished in the late 1800's when a major new painting would be borrowed from an artist or collector, it then became a great social occasion to view this piece in a dimly lit room then purchase a photogravure print of it. This side of the firm gradually evolved into selling paintings and etchings rather than just prints. Many famous artists exhibited in Annan's over the years including a show by one L.S.Lowry in 1946.

I am the fifth generation to be involved in the firm. In 2006 the decision was made to move away completely from the art dealing side of things and go back and concentrate on the unique collection of old photographs. Therefore I no longer have any connection with the Annan Art Gallery in Woodlands Road, Glasgow.

The firm's philosophy is simple, to provide a friendly, efficient service ....... and has done so for over 150 Years.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further details of of any of our services.

Douglas Annan

T. & R. ANNAN & SONS Ltd.