N 183‘) Henry liox iliallaot an— nounced the im'ention ofphoto-
graphy: about six
years later John Muir \Vood took this self— portrait.
proudlyholdingthe printing frame essential to the discoyery. Wood was actiye in Edinburgh at the same time as the pioneering Scots photographers Hill and Adamson; their achieyement is now firmly established in the history of photo- graphy. yet Wood‘s strikingly original work has remained unknown. Now an exhihition at the Scottish National l’ortrait Gallery aims to eycn the score.
:9. John Muir Wood was a professional musician. trained as a pianist in Vienna by (Txerny. (Tlosely associated with the greatest music of his day he organised concerts in Scotland for (:hopin and Liszt — he also played an important part in conserying the tradi— tional music of Scotland.
a In the 1840s and ‘50s Wood turned his inyestigatiye mind to the new and difficult art
of photography. He took in those years many
photographs ofremarkahle heauty; images of
the wild scenery ofScotland. ofthe towns he yisited on the (Zontinent. or simply of his friends and relations. llis researches into the chemistry of photography were well in adyance of their time and to a twentieth- century eye there is an uncanny modernity in the composition of much ofhis work.
22 Whereas Hill and Adamson soon found their way into import-ant collections the
world oyer. John Muir Wood‘s achieyements
remained hidden for oyer a century. In 1986 Woods descendants made a magnificent gift to the Nation and presented all his photo— graphs to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Now. alter cataloguing and careful conseryation. nearly two hundred of the finest images are exhibited for the first time. An unusually complete record ofthe experi— ence of photography in the early and most exciting years ofthe art has been reyealed.
222 And so as not to neglect the full diyersity of this extraordinary man‘s talents. the
Scottish National Portrait Gallery presents
A (,‘L‘lrlil'arz'nu rift/Jr .lluxu‘u/ lj/i‘ (if/(21m .lluu'
Illum’. a concert giyen by The (ilementi
(Iompany at the Gallery at 7pm on 8. 18. 2(3
and 2‘) August.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF JOHN MUIR WOOD
1805'1892 Scottish National Portrait Gallery 1 Queen Srrrrt - Elfin/2117:1711 - 5 August to 5 Noi’cmlm' - during; the festival (2/2571 .1 I (Hui/1y m Saturday 1()- () Ci" Sun/fur l 1 - () .uz‘ ()t/u‘r rz'uu‘x 10-5 C" 2-5 - admission £1 (a)Izz'wxiuuxfire)
s 1) o N s o R r. n B r M©bil
30'l‘he list 5 ll August W88