Thomas Vernon Begbie

Exhibitions, Books and Collections


Exhibitions and Book

The City of Edinburgh staged an exhibition of Begbie’s work in the City Art Centre in 1990.

The book, Thomas Begbie’s Edinburgh - a Mid-Victorian Portrait, was published in 1992.  It features 150 photographs from these glass negatives, including Edinburgh New Town, Edinburgh Old Town, Calton Hill and Newhaven.


Prints by Joseph Rock

The images in the above book, and larger images displayed in the Begbie exhibition bring to life parts of Edinburgh in the mid 19th century that appear to have been overlooked by other photographers and artists.

Joseph Rock, who made all the Begbie prints held in the Cavaye Collection reminds us that Begbie would never have seen prints of this size made from his negatives.  He would have made contact prints, or in some cases may never have made any prints from his plates.

Joseph Rock tells me that:

-  he held the entire Begbie collection in his studio for four years before passing them on to the Edinburgh City Art Centre.  This allowed him to work through the collection at leisure.  He reports that these were some of the most contrasty negatives he ever had to work from.

-  it was originally intended that the images in the book Thomas Begbie's Edinburgh - a Mid-Victorian Portrait  would be printed in duotone, but this idea was later abandoned by the publishers as being too costly.  As a result Joseph Rock feels that the book did not really do justice to Begbie's work.


Prints in Collections

An album of prints is held by Mrs Sarah Thomson, grand-daughter of Begbie.  [Is she still alive?]

The Edinburgh Public Library collection of photographs includes some of Begbie's stereo prints.


Thomas Vernon Begbie

 MAPS & PHOTOS:   Key      Central (west)      Central (east)     Edinburgh & Leith

PHOTOS:   Stereoscopic    Old Town    New Town    Around Edin    Leith     Sculptures

BEGBIE STORY:  Discovery    Family    Partnership    Amateur    Studios    Collections

Begbie's studio addresses and dates


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