The First Hundred Years... The Scottish Salon of Photography 1904 - 2004

Following an idea first mooted by Brechin Photographic Association in 1902, the history of the Scottish Salon started in Perth in 1903, when Perth Society of Natural Science Photo Section hosted a meeting to discuss the idea of a photographic organisation being formed to which Clubs from all over Scotland were invited. Subsequently the parent organisation of the Salon you know today was formed on 21st March 1903.

The Scottish Photographic Federation had as its first President Henry Coates and many of the early meetings were held in Perth Society of Natural Science clubrooms.

During their first year in office, the Council of the SPF decided to hold The Scottish National Photographic Salon.

‘In pursuance of their desire to raise the standard of Pictorial Photography in Scotland the Council of the Scottish Photographic Federation aims at exhibiting annually a truly representative collection of this year’s work.... this may be best attained by an exhibition open to the works of all Photographers resident in Scotland, also to works of Scotsmen residing out of Scotland...workers of eminence in various parts of the world will be specially invited to send selections of their work..’. – excerpt from 1st Salon Catalogue

The 1st Scottish National Photographic Salon was held at the Sandeman Art Gallery in Perth, from 13th to 27th February 1904 at which the then SPF President Henry Coates presided over. The Invitation section included ‘a collection of photographs taken 60 years ago by the late Mr D O Hill, one of the photographic pioneers in Scotland...’ - excerpt from 1st Salon Catalogue

This Salon was to evolve over the 100 years into the International Salon you know today. Over many of the years the Salon was to be organised and run by member Clubs of the SPF, PSNS doing so four more times, the later exhibitions being held here at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. For the last seven years the event has been organised by a sub committee of the SPF.

There have been few changes to the Salon over the years, the most-notable being when it began to be run under FIAP and PSA rules. In 2004 we received a ‘FIAP silver plaque’ to mark our organisation of the event since 1982 under FIAP patronage.

The 90th Scottish International Salon was resurrected in 2013 after a gap of a few years; 110 years after the Scottish Photographic Federation was formed.