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Weir's Close - Edinburgh
Alvin Langdon Coburn
(British, Boston, Massachusetts 1882–1966 Wales)
27.8 x 22.2 cm. (10 15/16 x 8 3/4 in.)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933
Not on view
In September 1905 Coburn took a break from the portrait project he was pursuing in London and visited J. Craig Annan in Edinburgh. There, he saw not only Annan’s work but also photographs by the pioneering painter/photographer team of David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson—portraits and city views taken in 1840s Edinburgh and originally printed in shades of ruddy brown with strong contrasts of light and shadow, an aesthetic echoed in Weir’s Close. In his 1966 autobiography, Coburn recalled another influence on such pictures: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes (1879). "For over fifty years I have followed lovingly in his footsteps, endeavouring to see it as I thought he saw it."