EUP 75: Our Publishing in Art and Visual Culture

Explore the journey of Art and Visual Culture publishing at Edinburgh University Press, from the 1960s to the most recent and innovative publications.

by Carol Macdonald

Celebrating 75 years of connecting people and ideas - Edinburgh University Press

We have a deep and rich history of publishing field-defining art history books. Many of
these were published through partnerships and collaborations, including with our parent
university, which are as important to us today as they were then. Our current output in art
and visual culture across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences is shaped as much
by this history as our enduring commitment to publishing at the cutting edge of scholarship.

We have close connections with the public art gallery of the University of Edinburgh, Talbot
Rice Gallery. At the forefront of research and creative practice, their superb exhibition
catalogues bring contemporary art to life on the page.

Cover of In the Round by Angelica Mesiti. The first publication in the Talbot Rice Gallery Edition series. This catalogue showcases Angelica Mesiti's exhibition In the Round, 1 October 2021 – 5 March 2022. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2021.
In the Round by Angelica Mesiti.
The first publication in the Talbot Rice Gallery Edition series. This catalogue showcases Angelica Mesiti’s exhibition In the Round, 1 October 2021 – 5 March 2022. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2022.

We published David Talbot Rice’s own pioneering The Church of Haghia Sophia at Trebizond in
1968, a collection of essays by experts who carried out intensive restoration of the church
and its paintings and sculptures from 1957 to 1964. His work became the foundation of our
prestigious Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art series edited by Robert Hillenbrand, one of the
world’s leading scholars on Persian and Islamic Art.

Cover of The Church of Haghia Sophia at Trebizond. Edited by David Talbot Rice and published by Edinburgh University Press in 1968.
The Church of Haghia Sophia at Trebizond. Edited by David Talbot Rice and published by Edinburgh University Press in 1968.

From the start, our art publishing was focused on innovation as much as on history. Behind
Appearance: A Study in the Relationship Between Painting and the Natural Sciences in this Century

by C. H. Waddington, published with EUP in 1969. Waddington, Professor of Animal
Genetics, was co-founder of The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the
University of Edinburgh and this book traces connections between trends in the recent
history of science and art. Our Technicities series carries this impetus forward today (more
below).

Across our 75 year history we have partnered with organisations from the Arts Council of
Great Britain, the Hayward Gallery, the Edinburgh Festival Society to the Scottish Society
for the History of Photography to publish books on everything from Early Celtic Art to the
Scottish Photographic Artists series, which promotes the work of Scottish photographers with
an international reputation.

Modern Scottish Painters was an 8-volume series instigated by the Scottish Arts Council in the
1970s to evaluate the achievement of twentieth-century Scottish painters and to promote a
much wider understanding of their work. The list includes Anne Redpath, William Gillies,
Joan Eardley, William Johnstone and Robin Philipson. Some of these beautifully illustrated
books remain the only reference works available on these significant Scottish artists.

Cover of number eight in the Modern Scottish Painters series: William Johnstone. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 1980.
Volume eight in the Modern Scottish Painters series: William Johnstone. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 1980.

We’re pleased to be working with scholars who continue to research these important artists,
offering vital new perspectives. In 2023 we partnered with The Royal Scottish Academy of
Art and Architecture to publish a transformative account of William Gillies on the 125th
anniversary of his birth and the 50th of his death. New books on a range of Scottish artists,
both historical and contemporary, are in the pipeline.

Cover of William Gillies: Modernism and Nation in British Art by Andrew McPherson. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2023.
William Gillies: Modernism and Nation in British Art by Andrew McPherson. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2023.

Producing beautiful art books remains important to us. Our Refractions series, edited by
Kamini Vellodi, publishes intellectually adventurous scholarship at the borders of art
history and philosophy. The design is fresh and impactful, inside and out.

Balancing this art historical thread we have an exciting future-facing agenda to reflect current times. Technicities, edited by Ryan Bishop and Jussi Parikka, explores theory and technoculture within the context of art, design and media. Alongside this series, we want to support a community of art practitioners and researchers on post-colonial and decolonial work as well as those working on the environment and climate concerns, keeping us close to our commitment to publish research that shapes the way we think about and tackle global and local issues.

Cover of Robotic Vision and Virtual Interfacings: Seeing, Sensing, Shaping edited by Luci Eldridge and Nina Trivedi. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2024.
Robotic Vision and Virtual Interfacings: Seeing, Sensing, Shaping edited by Luci Eldridge and Nina Trivedi. Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2024.

About Carol Macdonald

Photograph of Carol Macdonald

Carol Macdonald is a Publisher at Edinburgh University Press. She commissions in Philosophy and Art and Visual Culture.

You can contact her at carol.macdonald@eup.ed.ac.uk.

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