Group on a Hill Road – Grananda Annan, James Craig  (Scottish, 1864-1946)

Annan was an influential international figure. As a practicing photographer, his views that photography could be a fine art were eagerly read in photographic journals, while his magnificent prints, often in the beautiful process of photogravure, demonstrated the fact in exhibitions throughout Europe and America. He preached the importance of design and framing. His photography, highly accomplished technically, is always fastidious. It was at first, fresh, vital, and forward-looking, then, latterly mellow and introspective. He was an adventurous artist, respecting the photographic image but never over-awed by it when he saw an opportunity to be creative. In the manipulation of his images he was a man of his times, but as a ‘connoisseur of transience’ he clearly signaled a way ahead. Buchanan P. 29

When the Linked Ring ‘unlinked’ Annan was part of the group that formed the London Secession and his work continued to find stimulus from the company of fellow pictorialists and from travel. He gradually reduced the amount he exhibited his work but it continued to reach an audience; in the early twentieth century his work was often published in Camera Work, including eight photographs from his 1913 trip to Spain that were published in January 1914. Stieglitz said of these Spanish photographs ‘Annan has never done any finer work. … As an artist he continues to grow.’

Reproduced / Exhibited

Buchanan, William, and J C. Annan. The Art of the Photographer: J. Craig Annan, 1864-1946. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1992. plate 45.

Naef, Weston J. The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography. New York: Viking Press, 1978. no 45.


Hawthorn-Booth, The Golden Age of British Photography, p. 173