Sir David Young Cameron is regarded as one of the great masters of landscape and architectural etching and was considered a leading light in the British ‘Etching Revival’. Over his 45 year career as a printmaker, from 1887 to 1932, he produced over 500 etchings and drypoints. His works can be found in museum collections worldwide including the Tate Gallery, British Museum, National Gallery of Scotland, National Gallery of Canada, and Art Institute of Chicago. This month’s online exhibition includes 36 etchings and drypoints by Cameron comprising a number of Scottish landscapes as well as various French and Italian scenes and some examples of his bookplate designs.
Cameron was born in Glasgow on the 28th of June 1865. He trained at the Glasgow School of Art in the early 1880s before joining the Edinburgh School of Art in 1885. In 1887 George Stevenson, a friend of Seymour Hayden, suggested Cameron should try his hand at etching; he opened up his own collection of fine prints for Cameron to study as well as teaching him the art of the etching medium. In 1889 Cameron was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and he contributed regularly to the Society’s annual exhibitions until his resignation in 1902. During this period he published single prints as well as numerous series of etchings including the ‘Paisley’, ‘Clyde’, ‘North Holland’, ‘North Italian’, and ‘London’ sets and was quickly recognised as a leading force in the Scottish Etching Revival. As his career progressed Cameron accumulated numerous honours from many of the leading artistic institutions of the day. In 1904 he became an A.R.S.A. and A.R.W.S., in 1906 an R.W.S., in 1911 an A.R.A. (engraver), in 1911 an A.R.A. (painter), in 1918 an R.S.A. and in 1920 an R.A.. Cameron went on to be knighted in 1924 and was appointed King's Painter and Limner in Scotland in 1933. Cameron died in Perth in September 1945.