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James Faed, Artist and Engraver

At the time of his death on 23rd September 1911, James Faed was the last survivor of a famous family of artists. James' elder brother was John Faed RSA and a younger brother was Thomas Faed RA HRSA. The brothers grew up in Gatehouse, where James helped his miller father. His first large work was after a group portrait by his brother Thomas of Walter Scott and His Literary Friends, followed by another group of poets and friends of Shakespeare at the Mermaid Tavern after John Faed. From 1848-1898, James Faed engraved over 140 plates for leading Victorian artists such as Sir John Watson Gordon PRSA, John Graham Gilbert, Sir Daniel MacNee PRSA, Norman Macbeth, Sir J Noel Paton, Franz Winterhalter and Sir George Reid PRSA. As well as Scottish aristocracy, his commissions included sitters from the medical, religious and scientific world as well as landed gentry, many of whom were connected with hunting. The Duke of Buccleuch, his son Lord Dalkeith, The Earl of Galloway, Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw and Wellwood Herries Maxwell of Munches were all subjects of Faed’s plates. James Faed died in Edinburgh aged 90. He was married to Mary Cotton who bore him eight children, including the artists James Faed Junior and William Cotton Faed.

Also on show

Views in Wigtownshire

A collection of photographs of Victorian Wigtownshire
The original photographs are in a bound leather volume called ‘Views in Wigtownshire’. The album was found in Italy and has been donated to the Museum by the late John Ross. Most of the views were taken in the Machars. There are photographs of Whithorn, Port William and Garlieston as well as shots of individual buildings like Glasserton Church, Ravenstone Castle and The Old Place of Mochrum. Of particular interest is an image of the Colchester oyster fleet at the Isle of Whithorn.

The views are undated but a number of clues suggest that they were probably taken in the 1860s and early 1870s. If this is correct then these are some of the earliest surviving photographs of Wigtownshire. Visitors to the exhibition may be able to cast more light on the date of the photographs and the identity of the photographer.

The accompanying notes are by Jack Hunter, who, together with a number of other local historians, has been researching the photographs.

A booklet of the collection of photographs is on sale at the Museum.

Both exhibitions are at Stranraer Museum until 25 February. Admission is free.