On a Dutch Shore Annan, James Craig  (Scottish, 1864-1946)

Taken at the very beginning of his career, Annan’s On a Dutch Shore is of an auction, though this is not apparent from the evidence in the print.  As a composition the crowd forms a dark shape balanced against the shape of the two boats, which are now turned seawards, into the wind.  The group at the auction is engaged in an urgent and intense activity on which their livelihood depends.  It is an eloquent photograph about a tiny group of people fighting to survive in a vast world of sea and sand and wind.  Such a highly charged atmosphere, always quietly stated, pervades the very best of Annan’s work. (Weaver p.267)