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Cover design. Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library. (Glasgow: T. & R. Annan & Sons, 1900), Plate 6. Accession Number 859 ): Arizona Board of Regents, 1985), 49-52 (p. 50). Please consider the environment before printing, All text is © British Library and is available under Creative Commons Attribution Licence except where otherwise stated. Sontag quotes with approval a remark by Princeton photographer Emmet Gowin: “Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn’t attending to. Andrew Roth (New York: PPP Editions, 2001), pp. Atget, it is claimed, “was a commercial image-maker” whose “photographs and albums were sold to artists, libraries, and historical societies eager to preserve the past. A Scottish-Canadian Collaboration. Martin Daunton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. The public responds enthusiastically and the film becomes a huge financial success. Thomas Annan was commissioned to carry out this assignment. cit. 6:21 Lewis Hine, “Luigi, 6-years-old newsboy-beggar, Sacramento, California.” 1915. Linda R. Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), pp. a comment by Annan’s son, James Craig Annan, in a talk printed in Stieglitz’s. An exhibition of his photographs at the Princeton Public Library in October 2014 highlighted the unsightliness and impracticality of the tangles of overhead wires and cables found in most American towns and suburbs. These districts [...] may be considered as the fruitful source of those pestilential fevers which thence spread their destructive ravages over the whole of Glasgow.70. Whether it is John Thomson in the streets of London or Thomas Annan in the slums of Glasgow; [...] whether it is Jacob Riis among the ‘poor,’ the ‘ idle’ and the ‘vicious’ of Mulberry Bend or Captain Hooper among the victims of the Madras famine of 1876: what we see is the extension of a ‘procedure of objectification and subjection’ [...]. 31-40. 122-23. See also Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque”: “Annan is known to have been a religious man, involved in the Church’s effort to improve the lot of the inhabitants through voluntary education schemes. Whatever the initial purpose of the commission and despite their equivocal status as social documentation, many of Annan’s images are surprisingly close in viewpoint to those of Jacob Riis, the first person in America to conceive of camera images as an instrument for social change. 1980? According to Strand, a “generally erroneous notion of artist [namely, that ‘everybody who slings a little paint is an artist’] has been and is the chief worry of photographers and their undoing. [...] Despite the possibility of the photograph existing in multiple copies, [photography is] not a process of mechanical reproduction in the sense in which stamping, casting and die-making are. Buy Photographs of the Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, 1868-77 Fifth Edition by Annan, Thomas, Moxley, Anita V. (ISBN: 9780486234427) from Amazon's Book Store. (London: Griffin, Bohn & Co., 1861), vol. Thomas Annan, ‘No.80 High Street’. The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow 1900 Thomas Annan. It may even be that some of them — like the centrally positioned, self-assured male figures, especially the young boy with arms akimbo, looking directly, almost defiantly, at the camera in “Close, no. 212-15. See also Julie Lawson, “The Problem of Poverty and the Picturesque”: “Annan is known to have been a religious man, involved in the Church’s effort to improve the lot of the inhabitants through voluntary education schemes. Until 1912, population figures did not include contiguous but still administratively independent areas such as Govan and Partick. Or did he regard them, interact with them, and portray them as fellow human beings? and who noted in his Introduction that the city had worked hard to remedy frequent fires and flooding and to deal with “riots among the people in seasons of famine or in circumstances of political discontent.” He conceded that there is “poverty and crime,” and attributed these to “a large amount of ignorance.” Nevertheless, “there is also a pleasing extent of intelligence, and integrity, and charity.” Ultimately, Forbes had confidence in the future of the city with its ever expanding trade and industry. “The Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. Poor working-class immigrants, most of them from Ireland or the Highlands, were crammed into the squalid, crowded central area of City Parish, converted for quick cash from the apartments of the middle classes who had sold up and moved out west. Still, in at least one case — a view of the Palace of Linlithgow — there is material evidence that he sketched the scene he wanted to photograph and made notes to himself about lighting conditions and the best times of day for camera work. Ibid., p. 604. The building footprints, their use (commercial, residential, educational, etc. By visiting our website or transacting with us, you agree to this. Single albumen prints from 1871 and carbon prints from 1878, for instance, of which a fair number are still extant, might have been collected and bound together by individuals or institutions. (Edinburgh: Alex Hill, 1832). 143-44). Allan, “The Genesis of British Urban Redevelopment with special reference to Glasgow,” pp. In fact, Annan’s concern with form and the “restraint” with which, in the view of some scholars. 2 (June 1977), 1-12 (p. 1). The pictures were thus necessarily composed with care, and while it was not Annan’s brief to depict the universally denounced squalor of the old closes and streets but only the closes and streets themselves, it is striking that, in the view of many (though by no means all) commentators, the photographs do not, on the whole, convey a deeply disturbing sense of squalor or degradation (with some notable exceptions, such as “Closes 97 and 103 Saltmarket”), James Lawson, “The Urban Landscape between Progress and Decay,” p. 5. Engraved by Annan from Photographs taken for...City of Glasgow Improvement Trust. 86 See, for example, Ian Spring, Phantom Village: The Myth of the New Glasgow (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1990), p. 16; Rachel Stuhlman, “‘Let Glasgow Flourish’: Thomas Annan and the Glasgow Corporation Waterworks,” p. 50. The purely documentary function of photography, the function most commonly attributed to the use of the camera, thus came to be associated, in the case of the documentation of old or decaying buildings, with a nascent counter-claim that photography is an artistic medium like painting. 89 See notably Elizabeth Lindquist-Cock, “Sentiment, Compassion, Straight Record: The Mid-Victorians,” The Massachusetts Review, 19 (Winter 1978), special issue devoted to photography, 717-28: “Others, like Thomas Annan, attempted to rouse the public to the terrible conditions in Glasgow’s slums by presenting stark and truthful images of the downtrodden poor in the dark tenement canyons”; (p. 717) “Thomas Annan used his camera as a social weapon…” (p. 723). 6:23].). 34Nevertheless — and this is the second of the two issues I would like to explore briefly — a major criticism remains to be considered, one that goes to the heart of any photography that presents itself as having a social documentary intent while at the same time pursuing formal and compositional goals, and that thus necessarily affects Annan’s work in some measure. 13-17 (p. 14). It has never been sentimental about its old buildings. Today, shop windows are stocked with Annan prints framed for domestic consumption and countless city centre pubs and restaurants mount Glasgow’s old streets and closes on their walls. Britain that he presented to the House of Lords in 1842, Edwin Chadwick, Secretary to the Poor Law Commission, wrote that “it appeared to us [himself and his colleague, Dr. Neil Arnott, a Scottish-born and trained surgeon] that both the structural arrangements and the condition of the population in Glasgow was the worst of any we had seen in any part of Great Britain.”69 For his part, Engels quoted from a report in the new monthly periodical The Artizan (October 1843) in his Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, published in the original German in 1845: The population in 1840 was estimated at 282,000, of whom about 78 percent belong to the working classes, 50,000 being Irish. 7, 14. 91 Photographs of Glasgow (Glasgow: Duthie, 1868), sections on “Trongate and Cross” and “The Parks: in connection with view of West-End Park.”(Pages unnumbered), 92 On the “Missions héliographiques” and on Marville, see André Gunthert, “L’Institution du photographique: Le roman de la Société héliographique” (as in endnote 5 above); Eugenia Janis, “Demolition picturesque: Photographs of Paris in 1852 and 1858 by Henri Le Secq,” in Perspectives on Photography: Essays in Honor of Beaumont Newhall, ed. Micheline Nilson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), pp. What, in short, was Annan’s relation to the inhabitants of the old closes and streets? As urbanization proceeded apace in the nineteenth century and the traditional fabric and appearance of cities underwent drastic transformations, similar commissions were issued in other cities, notably Paris. TA 1900 Thomas Annan. To help … See more Incredible Photographs Of The Old Closes And Streets Of Glasgow here. (New York: Dover, 1991 [orig. (Glasgow: Duthie, 1868), sections on “Trongate and Cross” and “The Parks: in connection with view of West-End Park.”(Pages unnumbered), On the “Missions héliographiques” and on Marville, see André Gunthert, “L’Institution du photographique: Le roman de la Société héliographique” (as in endnote 5 above); Eugenia Janis, “Demolition picturesque: Photographs of Paris in 1852 and 1858 by Henri Le Secq,” in, Perspectives on Photography: Essays in Honor of Beaumont Newhall, According to De Thézy, Marville’s commission dated from 1865 and resulted within three years in an album of 425 images. [...] This artist chose to capture the Old Paris, to hold on to the relics of the past overwhelmed by the speeding traffic of the present day: the narrow cobblestone streets, the horse-drawn carts, the poor peddlers hawking their wares.” His images “were produced as documents, recording monuments and sites that were clearly identified by their image-maker; but they were published in the United States, after the photographer’s death, as art objects in a large and beautiful volume, where the images are severed from the captions that ‘fix’ them in historical time and space (the captions are listed in a separate section discreetly hidden at the back of the book).” American Pictorialism, in short, transformed the perception of the original, primarily documentary images. (Michael Pacione, Glasgow: The Socio-spatial Development of the City, [Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 1995], p. 113). 5There are many harrowing contemporary descriptions of conditions in the slums of Glasgow in the mid-1800s. Judith Flanders examines the state of housing for the 19th-century urban poor, assessing the ‘improvements’ carried out in slum areas and the efforts of writers, including Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew, to publicise such living conditions. II, p. 149). 3, ed. It is impossible to look at a photograph such as, without an uncomfortable sense of the ambiguity of our own position as contemporary observers; we are simultaneously appalled by what it tells us about a human situation and thrilled by its uniquely seductive qualities as a photographic print.” (Fig. Moreover, Carrick’s plans for the further development and reconstruction of the city incorporated wide and straight thoroughfares in the Haussmann style. Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library. According to Strand, a “generally erroneous notion of artist [namely, that ‘everybody who slings a little paint is an artist’] has been and is the chief worry of photographers and their undoing. Division of Rare Books. Some have obviously been told to stand still; others go about their business unconscious of the camera. pp. In addition, during the Third Burmese War (1885) he photographed prisoners he himself had ordered to be executed at the precise moment of their execution, planning to have the images produced commercially and offered for sale. 1900. 6:9 Thomas Annan, “Close, No. It is entirely possible, of course, that other photographers learned from Annan’s work to produce images with a reformist intent. (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1988), pp. This low figure may, however, reflect the gallery’s commercial interest in the rarity of the sets, since it was selling off single prints from a set that had come into its possession. 92, 118-19, 150-51. Out of photography one can make passport pictures, weather photographs, pornographic pictures, X-rays, wedding pictures, and Atget’s Paris. Hinted at in Ian Spring’s reference to the vogue of Annan’s photographs of the old closes in twenty-first-century, post-industrial Glasgow, this issue is raised and discussed by Susan Sontag in her now classic essays on photography. On the previous page Chadwick gives a gruesome account of his own inspection, with Dr. Neil Arnott, of dwellings in the rundown, poor sections of Glasgow: “‘We entered a dirty low passage like a house door, which led from the street through the first house to a square court immediately behind, which court, with the exception of a narrow path around it leading to another long passage through a second house, was occupied entirely as a dung receptacle of the most disgusting kind. [...] In a house near the foot of Saltmarket, ‘Silvercraig’s land’, Oliver Cromwell lodged while in Glasgow, as Darnley, the husband of Mary, also had lodged, in Rottenrow, off High Street.” Forbes appears to have known of the upcoming demolition of the degraded buildings and to have accepted it as necessary for the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants and of the city as a whole. 69-79. 6:10 Thomas Annan, “Close, No. See also the entry on Hooper by Kathleen Howe in John Hannavy, ed., Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, The Victorians themselves, Annan’s contemporaries, appear to have anticipated to some extent the contemporary debate about documentary photographs that depict famine, poverty, war and other forms of human misery. “I think the poorer classes of Glasgow excel even those in Liverpool in the bad eminence of filth, uncombed and unwashed children, drunkenness, disorderly deportment, evil smell, and all that makes city poverty disgusting.” On his second visit, his impression had not changed: “The Trongate and the Salt-Market [...] were formerly the principal business streets, and, together with High Street, the abode of the rich merchants and other great people of the town. , p. 151. Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library. A volume published posthumously in a limited edition by Annan’s son, James Craig Annan, did contain an introductory text by the local antiquarian and artist William Young, but it dealt mostly with the history of Glasgow and its various quarters and streets and had nothing to say about the photographs themselves, other than that their value “consists in their true presentation or suggestion of the seamy side of the city’s life; in their depicting with absolute faithfulness the gloom and squalor of the slums” and thus affording “a peek into dark and dismal dens unvisited by the great purifying agencies of sun and wind.”80 Whereas Jacob Riis’s photographs — published in the last decade of the nineteenth century in his book How the Other Half Lives and sometimes held to have been anticipated by those of Annan (Figs. [...] Weston’s images, however admirable, however beautiful, have become less interesting to many people, while those taken by the mid-nineteenth-century English and French primitive photographer [...] enthrall more than ever. 6:18). 6:17 Thomas Annan, “Close, No. On the contrary, there are few signs of refuse in them and the lines of washing hung out over them in many of the pictures —“Annan’s slumdwellers are perplexingly fastidious launderers of linen,” one scholar remarks107 — not only suggest a concern with cleanliness on the part of the inhabitants but provide a formally effective horizontal complement to the high, somber and close-packed verticals of the walls. Thomas Annan’s Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow shows conditions of the poor in Glasgow in 1868. James Lawson makes the interesting argument that the seemingly contradictory “social-historical” and “art-critical” approaches to photography, especially documentary photography, reflect two essential aspects of the medium: its origin and its development. Thomas Annan (Scottish,1829 - 1887) James Craig Annan (Scottish, 1864 - 1946) William Young T. & R. Annan & Sons (Scottish, founded 1888) Closed: 39.8 × 29.5 × 2.5 cm (15 11/16 × 11 5/8 × 1 in.) That he apparently did so (albeit with understandably less success in the case of young children) would suggest that, instead of regarding him with suspicion, as they often looked on sanitary inspectors, advocates of church attendance and abstention from alcoholic drinks, and similarly well-meaning but interfering outsiders, the inhabitants of the closes (most of them probably poor Irish immigrants) may have seen him as a friendly figure and been pleased or flattered to be selected for portrayal in his photographs — unless, of course, though this seems unlikely, they were rewarded for their co-operation. 37 High Street,” from. But above all else we have to understand it is a visual sign of failure. 5:15-16).92, 21This connection is all the more plausible as Provost Blackie and John Carrick, who were behind the slum demolition plan and the commission to make photographic records of the condemned streets and wynds, were enthusiastic admirers of the redesigning of Paris under Napoleon III and Haussmann, and had led a civic delegation from Glasgow to the French capital in June 1866, the very year in which the City Improvements Act was passed. cit., p. 45. “The insistent recurrence of the word ‘Old’ in the titles of [Annan’s] publications” was noted by Ray McKenzie in his article “Thomas Annan and the Scottish Landscape: Among the Gray Edifices,” p. 47. 157-85) to the debate provoked in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by photography’s claim to be art. 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