Annan’s portrait of William Strang as the etching printer illustrates Annan’s strong connection with the etchers of the period including William Strang, D. Y. Cameron, Muirhead Bone
As the gravure plates and the edition there from have virtually been made by Mr. Annan himself, this series [of five images] has an increased interest and value, for their quality as gravures is as remarkable as the quality of the original prints. Stieglitz, Camera Work XIX
The Etching Printer, a portrait of an artist in full creative flow displays Annan’s skill in manipulation. In The Etching Printer Annan depicts both traditional etching, and by extension the new, more technological process of photogravure. Working the plate, Annan softened the background to concentrate the viewer’s attention to Strang’s eyes and the plate balanced lightly on his fingers. The white flash of exposed paper that covers the entire right top quadrant of the gravure works to emblematize both Strang’s involvement with the etching plate in the course of creation, and Annan’s clever graphic manipulation of the image.
Buchanan, William. J. Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography. Oxford: Clio Press, 1994. fig. 16.
Buchanan, William, and J C. Annan. The Art of the Photographer: J. Craig Annan, 1864-1946. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1992. plate 13.
Gernsheim, Helmut. Creative Photography. Aesthetic Trends 1839-1960. [with Illustrations]. London: Faber & Faber, 1962. p. 134
Kruse, Margret. Kunstphotographie Um 1900: D. Sammlung Ernst Juhl; Hamburg: Museum für Kunst u. Gewerbe, 1989 pl. 22
Morrison-Low, A D, Julie Lawson, and Ray McKenzie. Photography 1900: The Edinburgh Symposium. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland, 1994. fig. 18.
Naef, Weston J. The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography. New York: Viking Press, 1978. no. 30.
Peterson, Christian A. Camera Work: Process & Image : [exhibition, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, August 31-November 3, 1985, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, November 22, 1985-February 2, 1986]. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of arts, 1985. p. 39
Stevenson, Sara, and Alison Morrison-Low. Light from the Dark Room: A Celebration of Scottish Photography : a Scottish-Canadian Collaboration. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1995. p. 10
The original image before manipulation can be seen in: Buchanan, William, and J C. Annan. The Art of the Photographer: J. Craig Annan, 1864-1946. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1992. Fig. 15