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Kenneth MacLeay  RSA

Kenneth McLeay  RSA  [in some directories]


Kenneth MacLeay RSA

Kenneth MacLeay RSA  -  Calotype by Hill & Adamson

  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services

Kenneth MacLeay RSA

Kenneth MacLeay - seated  -  Calotype by Hill & Adamson

  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services

The two photographs of Kenneth MacLeay above are calotypes taken by Hill & Adamson between 1843 and 1847.  These are from the Edinburgh City Library collection.

The Victoria & Albert Museum, London,  also has a copy of a Hill & Adamson calotype of Kenneth MacLeay wearing a kilt.

Miniature Painter and Portrait Painter

Kenneth McLeay was born in Oban, Scotland,  in 1802.  He studied at the trustees' Academy in Edinburgh  He was a Foundation Associate Member of the Scottish Academy  -  and became RSA from 1839

He was a chiefly a watercolour portrait painter, producing both miniature  and full size portraits.  He is recorded as a portrait painter in the Edinburgh trade directories from 1822 until 1878, living at twelve different addresses over this period. 

He also produce a series of watercolours of the Highland Clans for the Royal Family, published in 1870.

Kenneth MacLeay exhibited photographs in many of the PSS Exhibitions from 1856 to 1864.  He became a professional photographer from 1859 to 1863.  


Photographs in Exhibitions  -  and Prices

4th PSS Exhibition, Dec 1859

One of the photographs entered in the 4th PSS Exhibition by Kenneth MacLeay was 'Portrait of a Young Lady'.

The Press wrote:

"This work displays unusually fine qualities.  It is painted with breadth and unaffected power, yet tenderness of feeling that lift it far above ordinary competition."
[Evening News:  24 December 1859]

In a letter to PSS dated 22 December 1859, written in connection with the 4th PSS Exhibition, Kenneth MacLeay lists the prices of his portraits:

Plain Photographs

1st size   -  no hands                  10s 6d

2nd size  -  with hands               15s 0d

3rd size   -  half length          1    1s  0d

4th size   -  whole length      1  11s 6d

Plain copies of the  first 3 sizes  -  5/- each

Plain copies of the 4th size  -  7/6 each.

Painted Photographs - including price of the negative

1st size  -  tinted           2    2s  0d

1st size  -  finished      3  13s  6d

2nd size  -  tinted         2  17s  0d

2nd size  -  finished    4   19s  0d

3rd size  -  tinted         3   13s  6d

3rd size  -  finished     6     6s  0d

4th size  -  tinted        5  15s   6d

4th size  -  finished    8   18s  6d

4th size  -  in uniform or highland dress            10   10s  0d

Miniatures for Bracelets, Lockets, etc.  
                                                      -  smallest size   6    6s   0d

5th PSS Exhibition, February 1861

Kenneth MacLeay exhibited 3 tinted collodion portraits.


Kenneth MacLeay died on November 3, 1878 in Edinburgh.

Source:  Article:  'Royal Scottish Academy -Election of Associates' .in 'The Scotsman', November 14, 1878, Page 4.  Thank you to Greg Drake for advising me of this article.

Kenneth MacLeay was widower of Louisa Campbell.

Father:  Kenneth MacLeay  -  Doctor of Medicine.

Mother: ?

[Death Certificate]