Annan, Thomas


Active 1856-77 (died 1887)

Kyles of Bute, Thomas Annan, c.1860

233 - Thos Annan - Kyles of Bute hi.jpg

At 16, Annan started an apprenticeship as a lithographic engraver in Cupar, Fife and four years later went to work for a printer in Glasgow. Recognising the potential of the new art of photography, in 1855 he formed a calotype partnership with George Berwick, a chemist. By 1857, he had his own studio in Sauchiehall Street, exhibiting portraits, photos of paintings and country houses at the 1858 Photographic Society of Scotland Exhibition. In 1859, he was official photographer of the construction of the Glasgow water supply from Loch Katrine. Today, he is best known for his 1868-1871 work documenting the Glasgow slums on behalf of the Glasgow City Improvement Trust, prior to urban renewal.

In 1869, when D.O. Hill moved out, he leased Rock House in Edinburgh and based himself there for at least two years. Annan’s son, James Craig, later republished Hill & Adamson’s calotypes as photogravures.

Annan’s stereoviews are rare.