Andrew Swan Watson


Reports in Edinburgh

In late 1928, Andrew Swan Watson announced to the Edinburgh Society of Professional  Photographers that due to his state of health, he did not expect to be able to attend many of the ESPP Council Meetings.

He died in 1930.  His death was reported to the ESPP Meeting on 6 October 1930 but in fact he had died several months earlier.  The ESPP did not meet very frequently in 1930.


Report in BJP

The British Journal of Photography reported Andrew Swan Watson's death in its edition of 16 May 1930.  The obituary was accompanied by a small photograph taken by Alexander Corbett.

British Journal of Photography

A Swan Watson  -  A photograph by Alexander Corbett that appeared in the British Journal of Photogarphy with A Swan Watson's Obituary on 16 May 1930

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce,
     please contact

Death of Mr A Swan Watson

"We regret to record the death on May 8, at his home in Viewpark, Bruntsfield, of Mr A Swan Watson, the well-known Edinburgh photographer, after a very short illness.

Mr Swan Watson was emphatically a photographer of the old school in matters of artistic aim, for he resolutely set his face against the many forms of theatricality in portraiture.

Nevertheless he attained a high level of artistic merit in his work, and was particularly successful in his portrayal of men of character, such as professors, musicians, engineers, and others who sat to him.

He himself was greatly interested in Italian art, and made many visits to the collection in Italy.

He enjoyed the unique distinction in this country of Honorary Life Member of the Photographers' Association of America, and for many years had been Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Greatly interested in music, he was for a long period organist at Morningside Congregational Church.

A thorough Scot, and with a fund of typical Scottish humour, his presence at meetings of the Professional Photographers' Association (of which he was the President in 1921-22) will be sincerely missed."

BJP 16 May 1930, p.299



Report in BJP

Tribute was also paid to Andrew Swan Watson in the Presidential Address of the Annual Congress of the Professional Photographers' Association in London on 15 May 1930.

The President, Gilbert N Futcher, said:

Professional Photographers' Association

President's Comments

"The losses we have suffered have been on our minds and tongues all week, and personally I would add my tribute to the memory of those who have gone from us:

-  Mr Ellis    ... his mark will always remain upon the Association.
Mr Ellis had been PPA President 1903-04 and  PPA Secretary.

- And now we have added to this great loss another that is scarcely less in the passing of Mr Swan Watson.   It is a trite saying that true value is never really appreciated until it is lost.

We who associated with him on the Council month after month, when he seldom failed to appear with unfailing cheerfulness  -  we shall miss him.

But his loss is one that will affect the whole profession of photography, both from his eminence in it and from the manner in which he consistently upheld its dignity

I shall not forget how, seven weeks since, he welcomed me to Edinburgh, how he first of all took me to his beloved Raeburns in the Scottish National Gallery, and then, with very pardonable pride, to his own studio and home, full of treasures, full of his own personality.

He was a man for all in all we shall not look upon his like again."




Andrew Swan Watson

Professional Photographer and Exhibitor              Death + Obituary + Tribute

1881 Census              Douglas Hume Watson            William Watson

Cabinet Prints

 Thumbnails            Enlarge the back

A Swan Watson  -  Cabinet print 1610  -  Two boys              A Swan Watson  -  The back of a cabinet print  -  1610  -  Two boys

Theatrical Photo

What Show?

   A theatrical group, including Helen Henderson in green.  What was the show?

Interior Photo

Where is it?