Author(s): Watson, Andrew McDonald
Publisher: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Abstract: Book Description: While familiar with the collections of Burrell few have heard of James Duncan. Yet had Duncan's collection remained intact it would be internationally recognised and significant to Scottish culture today. The first Scottish collector to purchase an impressionist painting, Duncan had an extraordinary eye as a collector at a time when Victorian sensibilities frowned upon many modern works. At his estate, Benmore in Argyllshire, Duncan amassed a collection of international import, housed in his own vast gallery and available for public view, along with his other projects, a fernery and a sugar refinery. A man of huge scientific ability who pioneered work in industry and commerce, Duncan employed his significant wealth in improving the working conditions of his workforce and the community in general. And yet this innovative man all but disappeared from history as his fortune dwindled. Here he is recognised in the context of his time as a scientist, industrialist, philanthropist and art collector, a Scot of great industy and energy whom history has forgotten until now.
Category: Art Theory/Art History