John Houston

Sir Alexander Gibson, 1926 - 1995. Conductor (1985)

About this artwork

Alexander Gibson was born in Motherwell and trained in Glasgow, London and Europe. He was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra in 1959, and was the first native-born Scot to hold the posts. Gibson stayed with the orchestra for twenty-five years, raising it to a new level of excellence and using it to introduce many new works to Scotland, often before they had been heard in London. With composer Robin Orr, Gibson played a leading role in the creation of Scottish Opera in 1962.

  • title: Sir Alexander Gibson, 1926 - 1995. Conductor
  • accession number: PG 2691
  • artist: John HoustonScottish (1930 - 2008)
  • depicted: Sir Alexander Gibson
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Music
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1985
  • measurements: 127.00 x 101.60 cm
  • credit line: Presented by the artist 1986
  • copyright: © The Estate of Dame Ethel Walker. All Rights Reserved 2014/ Bridgeman Images
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

John Houston

John Houston

Born in Fife, Houston studied and subsequently taught at Edinburgh College of Art. He retired in 1989, after having been departmental head of the painting school and director of the post-graduate department. The style of his early paintings was expressive and semi-abstract, but in the late 1960s his paintings became more atmospheric, influenced by Turner and American Abstract Expressionism. One of Houston's favourite subjects was the sea as he was captivated by its restless energy. He was married to the Scottish artist Elizabeth Blackadder.