James Craig Annan

The White House (1909)

About this artwork

James Craig Annan's photogravure ‘The White House’ of 1909 is now considered to be an important and early example of an image that is both a formal composition and casual snapshot. Annan carefully set up the view of the house and boats, but waited until the punt had drifted into exactly the right position before taking his photograph. He then reworked the image, emphasising certain areas and blurring others, so that in the end only the canopy of the barge in front of the house boat remains sharp. The house and boats belonged to George Davison, a photographer and former Managing Director of Kodak in Britain. The boy in the punt boat is his son Ronald.

James Craig Annan

James Craig Annan

James Craig Annan, the son of the photographer Thomas Annan, studied Chemistry and Natural Philosophy before joining the family firm T. Annan. His work was exhibited by Alfred Stieglitz in New York and illustrated in the journal 'Camera Work'. Annan was a member of the photographic association The Linked Ring and in 1904 became the first President of the International Society of Pictorial Photographers. He renewed public interest in the work of Hill and Adamson by producing exquisite photogravures from their calotype negatives. In later years he became an etchings dealer and no longer exhibited his own work.