Visual Arts Scotland was founded in 1924 as the Scottish Society of Women Artists (SSWA), striking a blow for the feminist cause — and for the advancement of women in the arts in Scotland — and providing a much–needed platform and forum for applied arts. The SSWA’s exhibition moved to the National Gallery in 1941 where it exhibited annually until 1944; and since 1945, when Ann Redpath was President, it has exhibited at the RSA. There it has continued a tradition of inviting artists of national and international standing (for example, Joan Eardley, Barbara HEPWORTH, Elizabeth Frink, Dame Laura KNIGHT, Victor Pasmore, and Lucie Rie) to take part. Although not alone in the breadth of its interests, the Society has a special place in the arts in Scotland as it actively promotes the exhibition of the “applied” as well as the “fine” arts, numbering jewellers, ceramicists, artist blacksmiths, artist wood workers and textile artists amongst its exhibitors, in addition to painters, sculptors and photographers. On approaching the Society’s 75th anniversary, it was felt that the adoption of the more succinct name — Visual Arts Scotland — would help consolidate its strengths as it developed an educational outreach programme, and furthered the promotion of its members beyond the annual exhibition by its use of electronic media. (edited)


Visual Arts Scotland