A popular lecture series exploring the lives of Granite City greats concluded yesterday.
Organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, in collaboration with Aberdeen City Council, Great Aberdonians celebrated some of the city’s well travelled sons who made their mark on society.
In the final instalment of the series, by Dr John Morrison, senior lecturer in History of Art at the University of Aberdeen, the life of the highly successful and enormously influential artist George Reid (1841-1913) was explored.
In the second half of the nineteenth century he was one of the first of a new generation of painters to establish strong links to modern European art and through these ties to fundamentally change taste in Scottish painting.
Early in his career Reid’s work was often controversial and heavily criticised but he eventually saw his approach become highly successful and himself rewarded with a knighthood and the presidency of the Royal Scottish Academy.
Dr Michael Brown, a senior lecturer in history at the University and organiser of the Great Aberdonians series, said it had proved a hit with the Aberdeen public keen to know more about key figures from the past who hail from the city.
He said: “The series has been extremely well received and has generated a lot of interest in the figures we have discussed and the place of Aberdeen in the cultural and political developments of the past.
“We decided to create the lecture programme after hearing the Lord Provost talk about the idea of a campaign for pride in the city at the annual ambassadors’ dinner.”