- 19th Century Exhibitions
Exhibition – 1861
EPS has held
exhibitions annually since 1861. The
first exhibition was staged when the Society was less than six weeks
old, and included more than seven hundred prints, or, as the report of
the meeting states: choice
specimens of photographic skill.
The Edinburgh photographers must have had good contacts to
assemble an exhibition with work from so many prominent photographers of
the time. It was reported
the various artists whose pictures adorned the rooms were the names of
Fenton, Bedford, Mudd, Horatio Ross, Tunny, AY Herries, Piper, Rodger,
Ramage, Silvy, Bisson, &c, &c…… Stereoscopes, binocular
pictures &c. were spread over the table in great abundance.…”
EPS – Annual Exhibitions
– from 1861
Photographic Exhibitions became an important feature of EPS activities
from 1861 onwards
of the early exhibitions were held in the premises rented by the Society
for its meetings, at 5 St Andrew Square and 20 George Street.
Some of these early exhibitions had:
several categories of print for EPS Members
an Open Section which attracted entries from the UK and overseas
was normal practice, as had been the case with earlier PSS exhibitions,
for photographs in the exhibition to be offered for sale to the public.
In some cases the photograph in the exhibition was sold complete
other cases, the photographer agreed to supply copies of his exhibit,
unframed. The prices
charged were set by the photographers and sometimes negotiated.
EPS took a percentage commission on all sales.
for EPS Members
attraction of joining EPS was the annual distribution of photographs to
Members, at no charge other than their 5/- Membership fee.
In some years, the society used surplus funds to purchase
photographs from the exhibition after its close, then distributed these
to the Members.
allocation to Members was by ballot, so some Members received more
valuable photographs than others, but each receives one photograph.
In other years, all Members received the same photograph, often
of the photograph that won the main Medal in the competition, provided
the author was prepared to supply a bulk order to EPS at an acceptable
prints in PSS and EPS exhibitions was not always an easy task.
Some Members took great pride in their work and gave precise
instructions as to how their work should be handled and hung.
Exhibitions – 1876 and 1890
Two of the Society’s
exhibitions in the 19th century were on a much grander scale
than the others. Each was shown for about two months in the Royal Scottish
Academy in Princes Street. These
were the exhibitions of 1876 and 1890.
The Council announced
that the 1876 Exhibition was to be on a scale never before attempted by
any Provincial Society. A
medal was designed, a die was cut for £12 10s 0d and thirty-three
medals were awarded at the exhibition.
Prints were received from Austria,
Prussia, USA, Germany, Holland, Canada, India, Hungary, Russia, France
result of staging the 1876 Exhibition was that
many of the EPS Members decided to buy new photographic
equipment. The Scottish National Portrait Galley has a photograph of one
of the EPS Outings with this equipment in 1877.
The 1890 Exhibition
awarded even more medals than in 1876.
Over 1500 photographs were exhibited at the 1890 exhibition.
The 1890 catalogue was about eighty pages, and included a summary
of progress in photography in the previous fifty years.
The catalogue cost 6d