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Mary Cameron: Life in Paint

2 November 2019 – 15 March 2020

Free Admission

An exhibition celebrating the life and career of pioneering Edinburgh-born artist Mary Cameron (1865-1921).

Mary Cameron (1865-1921) was a woman ahead of her time. Born in Edinburgh, she began her artistic career as a portraitist and genre painter in her native city, before venturing abroad to study in Paris. Foreign travel proved to be an enduring source of inspiration. In 1900 she visited Madrid for the first time, and became captivated by the Spanish culture, people and scenery. Establishing studios in Madrid and Seville, she painted large-scale compositions of traditional peasant life, dramatic bullfights and rural landscapes. Cameron exhibited widely during her lifetime, and her talents were admired by contemporaries such as John Lavery and Alexander Roche. However, like so many female artists of her generation, her name is now little-known.

Mary Cameron: Life in Paint places this forgotten artist back in the spotlight. It explores the fascinating story of Cameron’s life and career, charting her creative journey from elegant family portraits to breathtaking Spanish scenes. The exhibition features over forty rarely-seen artworks from public and private collections, complemented by historic photographs and archival material.

Accompanied by the forthcoming book Mary Cameron: Life in Paint, written by Helen E. Scott with a foreword by Kenneth McConkey, due to be published by Sansom & Co in November 2019:


Mary Cameron: Life in Paint

Mary Cameron: Life in Paint

Mary Cameron: Life in Paint (Lecture)

Tuesday 3 December 2019, 10:30am Mary Cameron: Life in Paint Mary Cameron (1865-1921) was a female artist ahead of her time. Born in Edinburgh, she began her career as a portraitist...

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Curator sits admiring two paintings on display - both paintings are in gold frames

City Art Centre

Free entry | Recommended donation £3 | Last entry 4.30pm

The City of Edinburgh’s Art collection is one of the finest in Scotland, and includes works by the most important Scottish artists. More info