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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Thomas Annan

Other: T. &. R. Annan & Sons 
Dates:  1829 - 1887
Born:  Scotland, Fife, Dairsie
Active:  Scotland
Gender:  Male
Scottish photographer who utilized many photographic processes throughout his career. He made portrait and architectural photographs with equal ability, but is primarily remembered for his shots of the alleys and tenement buildings of Glasgow. "The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow", a classic of documentary photography, has gone through multiple editions in albumen print, carbon print and photogravure portfolio, and book forms, but it is interesting to note that his British Journal of Photography (December 23, 1887) obituary did not mention the series. The obituary concentrated on his landscapes and reproductions of paintings which are now largely forgotten.
He was the father of J. Craig Annan, also a noted photographer.

Preparing biographies

HomeContents > Further research

Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
Annan, Thomas, 1870, Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry [Δ
Annan, Thomas, 1977, Photographs of the Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, 18681877, (New York: Dover Publications) [Introduction by Anita Ventura Mozeley. Reprint] [Δ
McKenzie, Roy, 1992, ‘Thomas Annan and the Scottish Landscape: Among the Gray Edifices‘, History of Photography, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 40 [Δ
Mozley, Anita Ventura, 1977, Thomas Annan: Photographs of The Old Closes And Streets of Glasgow 1868/1877, (New York: Dover Publications, Inc.) [With a supplement of 15 related views) with a new introduction by Anita Ventura Mozley. Published through the Cooperation of The International Museum of Photography / George Eastman House] [Δ
Spring, Ian, 1996, ‘Midnight Scenes and Social Photographs: Thomas Annan's Glasgow‘, in Debra N. Mancoff & D.J. Trela (eds.), 1996, Victorian Urban Settings: Essays on the Nineteenth-Century City and Its Contexts, (New York: Garland), pp. 195-213 [Δ
Stevenson, Sara, 1990, Thomas Annan 1829-1887, (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland) [Δ
Young, William (introduction), 1900, The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow - engraved by Annan from Photographs taken for the City of Glasgow Improvement Trust, (Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons) [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan -
If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful.
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.
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Exhibitions on this website

Theme: Documentary
ThumbnailThomas Annan: The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow (1900) 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist

Visual indexes

ThumbnailThomas Annan: 6 Close No. 118 High Street
ThumbnailThomas Annan: High Street from College Open
ThumbnailThomas Annan: The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow
All photographs by this photographer 

Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online ( has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
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Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.31-32 
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Thomas Annan.] 
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.70 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 
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