George Washington Wilson
|Born||7 February 1823|
|Died||9 March 1893(aged 70)|
George Washington Wilson (7 February 1823 – 9 March 1893)
Wilson was born in Alvah, Banffshire.
Pioneering the development of techniques for photography outside of the studio and the mass production of photographic prints, he moved increasingly from portraiture to landscape photography in the 1860s. He also produced stereoscopic pictures whose main characteristic was that exposures were very short. By 1864 he claimed to have sold over half a million prints.
At the time of his death in 1893 (he had handed over the business to his sons, Charles, Louis and John Hay Wilson in 1888) the firm employed 40 staff and was one of the largest publishers of photographic prints in the world, competing with James Valentine, who was also a prolific photographer, with a large company in Dundee. The business survived until 1908, when it was wound up at auction.
He died in 9 March 1893 and is buried in Nellfield Cemetery in Aberdeen.
Over 40,000 of Wilson's photographic glass plates survive, largely due to the meticulous washing and chemical treatments he insisted on.
From about 1870 onwards Wilson relied increasingly on others to add to his stock.
Edinburgh from the Grass Market
Wilson's August 1885 photograph of the Glen Tilt looking upstream toward Forest Lodge. Location:
- Kennedy, Maev (9 August 2018). "Love of my life: Brian May to launch book on Victorian photographer". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
- Alastair J Durie, "Tourism and commercial photography in Victorian Scotland: the rise and fall of G W Wilson & Co., 1853-1908," Northern Scotland, vol.12, 1992.
- Elizabeth Bennett, Photographic treasures in the George Washington Wilson Collection. Aberdeen University Review, no. 167, 1982, 168-170.
- Diane Morgan, Archie Strachan - Photographer, Leopard Magazine (Aberdeen), November 1985.
- Heather F. C. Lyall, Treasures on glass, Leopard Magazine, January 1989, 6-10.
- By royal appointment: Aberdeen's pioneer photographer, George Washington Wilson, 1823-1893. AUL Publishing in association with the Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen, 1997
- Charles A Wilson. Aberdeen of Auld Lang Syne: a pictorial retrospect. Aberdeen, 1948.
- Durie, Alastair (1986), "George Washington Wilson: Photographic Innovator and Entrepreneur", in Parker, Geoff (ed.), ISSN 0264-0856
- R.V. Pringle, 'The George Washington Wilson Photographic Archive: a Postscript'
- R.V. Pringle, 'Aberdeenshire Photographs from the George Washington Wilson 1904 Catalogue'
- R.V. Pringle, 'Photographs of Gibraltar, South of Spain and Morocco from the George Washington Wilson 1908? Catalogue'
- The University of Aberdeen Photographic Archives
- Works in the National Galleries of Scotland
- Courtauld Institute G.W. Wilson Samples
- Scottish Scenery by G.W. Wilson