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HomeContentsVisual indexesJ. Craig Annan

J. Craig Annan 
Robert Meldrum 
[Die Kunst in der Photographie (Art Folio #5)] 
1898 (taken) 1900 (photogravure) 
Photogravure, Chine-collé 
20.4 x 9.3 cm 
Photograph courtesy 
James Craig Annan (Glasgow)
Heliographed (Plate) : James Craig Annan of T. & R. Annan & Sons, Glasgow
Printed (Druck) by: Georg Buxenstein & Comp. (Berlin)
In an interesting coincidence, this is the second portrait of a blind person to appear in Die Kunst in der Photographie, the first being a study of a woman titled Die Blinde by the photographer Aura Hertwig, also published in 1900. Annan later photographed "A Blind Musician-Granada, 1914" which was published as a photogravure in Camera Work 45, 1914. The device of incorporating lettering into the plate (please see Annan's portrait of Janet Burnet) inspired by Holbein's miniatures is also used here in the Meldrum portrait.
In 1883, Robert Meldrum, himself blind, (The Richard Stettiner article in the letterpress of Art Folio #5- Die Kunst in der Photographie-1900 makes reference to "blind Robert Meldrum") wrote the book: Light on Dark Paths- subtitled: "A Handbook for The Parents of Blind Children, The Missionary Teacher, The District Visitor, and all who seek in any way to be "eyes to the blind." Meldrum, described on the title page to the first edition as being "Fifteen Years Missionary Teacher of Blind", is described more fully in the 1891, 2nd edition in a press review reprinted commenting on the first edition by the Scottish Orcadian newspaper in 1889: "Light on Dark Paths is the attractive title of an interesting and useful book, written by Mr. R. Meldrum, Missionary Teacher of the Blind, Aberdeen. This book is worth reading by every one who has a heart to feel for the sorrows of others, especially for the many thousands in our land who from birth, by disease or accident, are blind. The book is specially designed as a guide to those who would teach any blind person to read, write, or cipher. Mr. Meldrum is thoroughly qualified to act as instructor, as he has had many years' experience, and has been more than ordinarily successful. He delights in his work and interests others in it, having the rare gift of communicating his information in a lucid and attractive manner. His aim has been to put his readers in possession of the most important information on the subject. He is most careful in disclaiming originality, he has gathered from various sources, and has judiciously given praise to whom praise is due. The author has orginality, and has gained a prize that any man might covet. He has invented a method by which letters can be written to the blind and read by them without the intervention of a third person. For this he received the Keith Medal, and a piece of Plate from the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, Edinburgh." (Source: The Orcadian, October 6th, 1889) 

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