Photographers named


1.  Miss Violet Banks  ARPS

2.  Patrick G Banks  ARPS

3.  John Banks  ARPS



Miss Violet Banks

Miss Violet Banks was a commercial portrait photographer from 1935 until 1945.

She was also a life member of EPS from 1935 or earlier.  In fact, she appears to have been producing photographs in the 1920s.

Her photos include 'Glass and Ebony' a print dated  20 August 1929, sold by Mawson, Swan and Morgan of Grey St, Newcastle upon Tyne.

[Chris Pope]


Violet Banks

Question 1

Was Miss Violet Banks related to John Banks?


Violet Banks

Q1  -  Reply 1

I don't yet have an answer to the question above, but would like to thank Heather Jack for sending me the following details about Miss Violet Banks.

Heather Jack wrote:

Artist and Pottery Decorator

"Some years ago I researched Violet Banks at Register House, coming from a different perspective, because she was an artist and pottery decorator, and I have specialized in documenting the hand-decorators on pottery from the 20s and 30s.

I came to the conclusion she would be the Violet Banks who died in 1985, aged 89, her occupation given as ‘draughtswoman (Rtd)’.  If that is correct, she would have been born in Fife, daughter of a farmer near Kinghorn, her dates 1896-1985.  At her death her address was given as 39 Corstorphine Hill Gardens, but of course she was a very old lady by then.

She was a graphic designer and illustrator, among other things, and I know that there is a record of her exhibiting from an address in Kirkcaldy, so the Fife connection may be valid.  ‘Draughtswoman’ sounds a bit technical, but I think it might be how she would have described herself in the days before the term ‘graphic designer’ was common currency.

I knew she was a photographer, as when I was investigating Emma Gillies – also a pottery artist – sister of Sir William, I saw Violet Banks’ name credited on the back of a photograph in the RSA Gillies collection.  It was a b/w photograph of William’s double portrait of his two sisters.

Whether the other photographers called Banks were any connection, I have no idea."

Heather Jack, Edinburgh:  February 10, 2006


Violet Banks

Q1  -  Reply 2

Thank you to Heather Jack for writing again, clearing up the issues of Violet Banks' parentage and training by providing the following details from 'Who's Who in Art' for 1927:

'Who's Who in Art' - 1927

"BANKS (Miss) Violet; painter in oil and watercolour and decorator of pottery; senior art mistress at St Oran's School, Edinburgh; b. nr Kinghorn, 3 Mar 1896; d of James Banks. Educ Craigmount, Edinburgh; Edinburgh College of Art (diploma). Exhbd at RSA, SSA, RSW, SSWA, Liverpool Inst., Aberdeen, etc.

Princ works Dancer Resting, Tea in the Studio. Recreations walking, photography and swimming. Address Sunnyhill, Kirkcaldy, Fife, N.B. Studio The Blue Studio, Central Chas, Kirkcaldy, Fife, N.B. Signs work “V Banks” (initial and surname joined and the end of signature underlined)."

Heather Jack, Edinburgh:  February 10, 2006


Violet Banks

Q1  -  Reply 3

Thank you to David Banks, a member of Violet Banks' family,  for answering this question, and also for providing information in response to question 2 below.

Other photographers named Banks

"Regarding John Banks and PG Banks - I know nothing of these gentlemen, so I would have to say that my Aunt Violet was not related to either of them in any way."

David Banks:  September 4, 2009 


Violet Banks

Q1  -  Reply 4

Thank you to Heather Jack who wrote again with further details of some of Violet Banks' photos.

Heather wrote:


"You may remember that I have occasionally contributed information to your website, including some background information on the photographer Violet Banks.
Yes.  See 'Reply 2 above.

Subsequent to my submission, a relative of Miss Banks added further insider information on this lady, who was his great aunt.  He mentioned that a portfolio of her photographs of the Western Isles had been deposited after her death with the National Library of Scotland, where he supposed it still might be found.

A previous attempt by myself to confirm this deposit came to nothing.  Miss Banks was not listed in their database, and when I tried again this week, I met with the same result.  However, by doing a Google search, I found that the portfolio in question does indeed exist, but not at the NLS.  it is in the collection of the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)."

Heather Jack, Edinburgh:  November 23, 2011


Violet Banks

Question 2

I have been asked, by somebody trying to trace the copyright on Violet Banks' photos, whether or not there are still any members of her family alive.

If you know the answer to this, please e-mail me.

Thank you. 

Peter Stubbs:  August 19, 2007


Violet Banks

Q2  -  Reply 1

Thank you to David Banks who replied


"Violet was the older sister of my late father, Dr. James N Banks.  Thus she was aunt to me and my brother, Ian, and great-aunt to my son, Christopher.  I got to know her very well when I was a student at Edinburgh University from 1957 onwards."


"She was a talented commercial photographer for many years.  I have in my possession a visitor's guide to Edinburgh, for which she provided all the photographs."


"As a boy I remember a number of her water colours, and also an oil portrait of my father as a young man.  Sadly these disappeared when he moved house in 1966."

West of Scotland Communities

"Before the War she produced some remarkable collections  of photographs of some of the very remote communities of Western Scotland, illustrating a way of life which even then was fast disappearing.

All this work was bequeathed to the Scottish National Library, and to best of my knowledge it is still in their care."


"Latterly in her career she worked as a draughtswoman in the Planning  Department in St. Andrews House, and was there until she retired."

David Banks:  September 4, 2009



PJ Banks


Who was PJ Banks?

I have found no entry for him in the trade directories, but have seen three cabinet prints bearing his name.  One gave an address of 13 Meadowbank Crescent; the other two give the address, Piershill.

I believe that they probably all date from around 1900.  Please click on these thumbnail images to enlarge the photos and to read more about them.

The subjects are:


Ladies in
Domestic Service

Cabinet Print (back)  -  Photographer: Fred E Bailey ©


Kilted Soldier
in garden

Cabinet Print by P J Banks, 13 Meadowbank Crescent, Edinburgh - Probebly around 1900 ©


Kilted Soldier
in studio

Cabinet Print by P J Banks, Piershill, Edinburgh - Probebly around 190 ©



PJ Banks


The 1901 census shows Patrick Banks at East Lodge, Parsons Green Terrace and this seemed to serve as home and studio.

The house was demolished and replaced by a tenement block (No.36 Parsons Green Terrace) with shops below.

Thank you  Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh, for the details above.



John Banks

John Banks gave an illustrated lecture to EPS 1907:

‘The Photographing of Children’.

He was a Life Member of EPS from 1935 or earlier.


Banks  -  studio addresses and dates