George Washington Wilson

(1823—1893) miniature painter and photographer

Quick Reference

(1823–93), Scottish photographer, originally trained as a miniature painter. By the mid-19th century tourism was flourishing, and Wilson's business, established in Aberdeen in 1852, met a huge demand for wet-plate views of Scotland. In the early phase of his career he undertook lengthy photographic tours, laden with equipment and sometimes accompanied by his friend the bookseller George Walker. The resulting pictures, trademarked GWW, soon established Wilson's reputation and did much to publicize regions like the Scottish Highlands. Later he extended his reach to England. Finally, his staff photographers reached Australia. The firm eventually held 45,000 negatives and advertised 25,000 views of Scotland and England and produced portraits, stereograms, cartes de visite, postcards, and albums. Commissions, from 1854 onwards, to photograph Balmoral Castle and members of the royal family brought Wilson the prestigious and lucrative title of ‘Photographer to the Queen’.


From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

Reference entries