China: Through the Lens of John Thomson

The first Edinburgh exhibition devoted to the Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921) and his photography in China is on display at the James Watt Centre, Heriot Watt University.

China: Through the Lens of John Thomson

About China: Through the Lens of John Thomson

This photographic exhibition features the work of Edinburgh photographer, John Thomson, who between 1868 and 1872, made extensive trips to Beijing, Fujian and Guangdong travelling down both the Yangtse and the Min Rivers.

In China, Thomson captured a wide variety of subjects from landscapes to people, architecture, domestic and street scenes. The range, depth and aesthetic quality of John Thomson’s vision mark him out as one of the most important travel photographers. This body of work established him as a pioneer of photojournalism and one of the most influential photographers of his time.

His collection of 700 glass plates travelled back with Thomson to Britain in 1872 and since 1921 has been housed and expertly preserved at the Wellcome Library, London. These 150 year old glass negatives are in excellent condition allowing this exhibition to showcase 94 very large, in some cases life-size, prints.

The exhibition is on display in the James Watt Centre at Heriot Watt’s Riccarton Campus, Riccarton, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS until 22th March 2022.

Access is free and visitors to the University are welcome but as access times vary, booking is essential.

Click here https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/is/heritage/china-through-the-lens-of-john-thomson.htm for further details.

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