The First Women of the Royal Scottish Academy

Posted on 25 November 2020

With the election of Joyce W Cairns two years ago, as the first female President of the Royal Scottish Academy, an important historical marker was set after 192 years of history. The RSA is a progressive institution today, with equality central in its activities. But, due to historic electing restrictions the RSA membership is still playing catch up from the Victorian era.

In this blog (and the abbreviated article on ArtUK), Art Historian and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Alice Strang, presents the first women who paved the way for the many who now help lead the modern RSA.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In 1885, Sir William Fettes Douglas (1822-91), sixth President of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (RSA), infamously declared that the work of a woman artist was ‘like a man’s only weaker and poorer.’[1] It is not surprising therefore, that the history of women at the RSA is stark, but it is improving.

The Scottish Academy was founded in Edinburgh in 1826 as a practitioner-led organisation with five objectives: to hold an open Annual Exhibition, to provide free instruction to fine art students, to establish a Fine Arts Library, to provide financial support to artists in need and to admit Honorary Members eminent in their fields.[2] Between 1855 and 1910 the Academy shared the building on The Mound now known as the Scottish National Gallery, equally with the Gallery. In 1911 it moved into the adjacent Royal Institution building, now known as the Royal Scottish Academy Building, where many of its activities are still based.[3] On receipt of a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria in 1838, it became known as the Royal Scottish Academy. The mission of the RSA is now ‘to support and promote the creation, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts in Scotland’.[4]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE HONORARY MEMBER

 

Christina Robertson HRSA (1796-1854), Three Unknown Children, undated, watercolour on ivory, 16.2 x 12.7cm.  Courtesy of National Galleries of Scotland, photography by Antonia Reeve

 

On its founding, the Academy consisted of eleven Academicians (RSA), or full members and seven Associate Academicians (ARSA), all of whom were men.[5] In 1827 the category of Honorary Academician (HRSA) was introduced for ‘artists and architects of international significance, enlightened practitioners in other art forms and those whose support of the arts is at the highest level.’[6] Two years later, Christina Robertson (1796-1854) became the first female member of the RSA when she was one of eleven artists and an architect to be elected to that rank.[7] 

Robertson (née Saunders) was born in Kinghorn, Fife. Believed to have been trained by her uncle, George Sanders (1774-1846), by 1829 she had established a practice in London as a portrait and miniature painter and begun exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in the English capital. She was made an HRSA rather than RSA because she lived too far away to fulfil the requirement of those of RSA rank to contribute to the running of the Academy in Edinburgh. Roberston exhibited at the RSA six times between 1829 and 1845 and achieved international success, including commissions from the Russian Royal family and maintaining a studio in St Petersburg.[8] In 1841 she was elected an Honorary Member of the Imperial Academy of Arts in the city, where she died in 1854.

The next female HRSA to be elected was the artist Fanny McIan (1814-97) in 1854 and the most recent were Fiona Robinson (b.1949) and Rebecca Salter (b.1955) in 2019.[9] Of the 231 HRSAs appointed since 1829, 15 are women (6.49%), in the categories of Artist, Senior Research, Singer and Professors of Anatomy, Antiquities, Art and Literature. As of October 2020, there are 40 HRSAs, of whom nine are women (22.5%).[10]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE ASSOCIATE MEMBER

 

Josephine Haswell Miller ARSA (1890-1975), Winter Afternoon, c.1946, oil on canvas, 35.6 x 40.7cm. Royal Scottish Academy collections (Thorburn Ross Memorial Fund Purchase, 1946) © Unknown. Photography: Chris Park

 

Until the 2005 revision of its Royal Charter, known as the Supplementary Charter, abolished the category, the most common route to joining the RSA was to be elected an Associate member, of whom some later attained full RSA status. Prospective members had to be proposed and seconded by existing Academicians and Associates. The Academy’s Nominations Books originally explained the eligibility criteria thus:

Persons nominated must be Artists by profession in the Art of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture or Engraving, of high reputation in their several professions and resident and settled in Scotland at the date of their respective elections. They must be persons of good moral character, not under twenty-one years of age, and not apprentices.[11]

The first woman to be elected an Associate of the RSA was the painter Josephine Haswell Miller (1890-1975) in 1938. In common with most nominees, she was not successful on the first attempt, having been proposed two years earlier by Alick Riddell Sturrock (1885-1953) and Ernest Stephen Lumsden (1883-1948). Her qualifications for nomination were stated as ‘exhibits R.S.A., Glasgow Institute etc etc. Purchased by Modern Arts’ referring to the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and the Scottish Modern Arts Association, a collecting society active between 1906 and 1964.[12]

Haswell Miller (née Cameron) was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art, where she taught etching and printmaking between 1924 and 1932. In 1916 she married the artist Archibald Elliot Haswell Miller (1887-1979), with whom she had a joint exhibition in 1923. They moved to Edinburgh in 1930 following her husband’s appointment as Keeper of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Haswell Miller contributed regularly to group exhibitions in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, was elected to the Society of Scottish Artists in 1924 and became a Governor of Edinburgh College of Art in 1941. She exhibited at the RSA forty times between 1920 and 1975.[13] On her husband’s retirement in 1952, the couple moved to Dorset. Her RSA pension was removed three years later as she was no longer domiciled in Scotland, a fact which would have prevented her from becoming an Academician.[14]

Between Haswell Miller’s election as the first female ARSA in 1938 and the abolition of that membership category in 2005, 28 women were elected to that rank compared to 171 men (16.37%).[15]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE FULL MEMBER

 

Phyllis Mary Bone  RSA (1894-1972), Shere Khan, the Tiger, 1930, bronze, 32.9 x 96.5 x 24.5cm. Royal Scottish Academy Diploma Collection (Deposited 1944) © Estate of the Artist. Photography: Jessie Maucor

 

Between 1826 and 2005, promotion from ARSA to RSA was possible on successful election following the resignation or death of an Academician in the same disciplinary category, meaning in Painting, Printmaking (from 1989) and Sculpture as an Artist, or as an Architect.[16] In 1936, the sculptor Phyllis Mary Bone (1894-1972) was nominated for Associateship by Benno Schotz (1891-1984) and Alick Riddell Sturrock, with the qualifications ‘Exhibitor, R.S.A., R.A., Glasgow Royal Fine Art Institute etc. etc.’[17] She became an ARSA three years later and in 1944 became the first female elected a full Academician, filling the space created by the death of James Pittendrigh Macgillivray (1856-1938) six years earlier.[18]

Bone was born in Hornby, Lancashire and grew up in Edinburgh. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art and under the animalier Edouard Navellier (1865-1944) in Paris. Bone established her reputation with her contribution to the Scottish National War Memorial during the period 1923 to 1927, for which she was responsible for modelling all but one of the animals, amongst other sculptural work. Prestigious commissions followed, including for the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Office, which she realised in parallel with the creation of smaller sculptures. A long, prolific and successful career saw her present the bronze Shere Khan, the Tiger of 1930 to the Academy’s Diploma Collection – a requirement of being elected to the rank of RSA – and exhibiting at the Annual Exhibition fifty-five times between 1915 and 1972.[19] Following her death later that year, a memorial display was mounted as part of the 1973 exhibition.

Between 1944 and 2020, fifty-six women were elected Academicians, compared to 159 men (35.2%).[20] When counted from the RSA’s founding in 1826 to 2020, there have been fifty-six female Academicians compared to 335 men (16.7%).[21] As at 5 October 2020, there are 121 Academicians (23 in the RSA (Elect) category, who will become full RSAs on the deposit of their Diploma Work), of whom thirty-five are women (28.9%).[22] It is worth bearing in mind that over the last ten years, of the forty-two members elected, 17 are women (40.1%). Furthermore, of the 30 artist members (as opposed to architect members) of those forty-two, 16 are women (53.3%).[23] The longest serving current Academician is Elizabeth Blackadder (b.1931) who became an ARSA in 1963 and RSA in 1972.[24]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE FULL PAINTER MEMBER

 

Anne Redpath RSA (1895-1965), The Chapel of St Jean, Tréboul, c.1956, oil on board, 86.3 x 111.6cm. Royal Scottish Academy  Diploma Collection (Deposited 1956) © Royal Scottish Academy/The Artist’s Estate. Photography: Andy Philipson

 

The first female painter to be elected to the rank of RSA was Anne Redpath (1895-1965) in 1952, following the deaths of William Somerville Shanks (1864-1951) and John Guthrie Spence Smith (1880-1951) the year before.[25] She was nominated for Associateship in 1941, 1942 and 1946 before being successful in 1947, with James Cowie (1886-1956), Josephine Haswell Miller, Ernest Stephen Lumsden, James Maxwell (1905-62), Charles Oppenheimer (1875-1961) and Alick Riddell Sturrock as her proposers and seconders. Her qualifications for nomination began with ‘Exhibitor at Contemporary Exhibitions’, progressed to ‘She has exhibited excellent work for many years and exhibits in Contemporary Exhibitions’ and ‘Excellent work for many years past’, before escalating to `Exhibits at all Contemporary Shows’.[26] Haswell Miller’s seconding of Sturrock’s proposal of Redpath’s nomination in 1941 was the first time a woman was in a position to do such a thing.

Redpath was born in Galashiels and studied concurrently at Edinburgh College of Art and Moray House College of Education. In 1920 she married the architect James Beattie Michie (1891-1960) and they moved to France, where they lived for fourteen years. Redpath returned to Scotland in 1934 with their children and settled in Edinburgh five years later. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1947, her first work to enter a public collection was acquired by Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum in 1949 and in 1960 she became the first Scottish woman to be elected an Associate of the RA. During a prestigious career she deposited The Chapel of St Jean, Tréboul of c.1956 as her RSA Diploma Work and exhibited at the Academy thirty times between 1919 and 1964; she too received a Memorial Display in the Annual Exhibition following her death in 1965.[27]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE PRINTMAKER MEMBER

 

Beth Fisher RSA (b.1944), Burial II, 2006, charcoal and conté on paper, 101 x 136.7cm. Royal Scottish Academy Diploma Collection (Deposited 2006) © The Artist. Photography: Antonia Reeve

 

Beth Fisher (b.1944) was the first female to be elected to the category of ‘Printmaker’ in 1989, the year in which it was introduced, thereby attaining the rank of Associate; this accolade was bestowed on Willie Rodger (1930-2018) in the same year.

Fisher (née Lovejoy) was born in Portland, Maine. She studied at the University of Wisconsin and at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. In 1971 Fisher moved to Scotland, where she helped to establish Glasgow Print Studio in 1972 and later worked at Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen for sixteen years from 1976. She taught at Glasgow School of Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, and Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, before retiring from teaching in 2004. Fisher is a figurative artist who explores female identity from a feminist standpoint, often through depictions of herself and her family. She interprets the body in relation to individuality and unflinchingly investigates domestic and personal concerns. She considers drawing to be fundamental to her practice and openly acknowledges her appropriation from art history, including religious composition and iconography.[28] Fisher has exhibited at the RSA twenty-two times between 1990 and 2020 and her touring exhibition Grisaille Legacy, began at the RSA in 2010.[29]

Fisher and Elspeth Lamb (b.1951), who was elected an Associate in the Printmaker category in 1990, were both made full Academicians in 2005, along with their fellow living ARSAs when the Associate rank was abolished. [30] At the same time the individual categories of Painting, Printmaking and Sculpture were amalgamated to that of ‘Artist’, in recognition of the emergence of new disciplines and the cross-disciplinary interests of a growing number of practitioners. [31] This simplified the membership categories to Art and Architecture (which themselves sometimes overlap), whilst the rank of ‘RSA (Elect)’ was re-emphasised; this signifies that the Member is yet to present a Diploma Work to the Academy’s collection, at which point their rank is formalised to ‘RSA’. The ‘one out, one in’ rule was abolished at this time, allowing membership to grow more quickly than was possible before. [32]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE ARCHITECT MEMBER

 

Kathryn Findlay RSA (1953-2014), Model for Art Foundation, Qatar, 2011, STL 3-D printed architectural model 5.0 x 30.0 x 30.0cm, Royal Scottish Academy  Diploma Collection (Deposited 2015) © Royal Scottish Academy (Photo credit: Chris Park)

 

The first female to be elected to the Architect category of Academy membership was Kathryn Findlay (1953-2014) as RSA (Elect) in 2007. She was born in Forfar and trained at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. On graduating in 1979, Findlay moved to Tokyo to join the office of Arata Isozaki (b.1931). In 1986 she formed the Ushida Findlay Partnership with her husband Eisaku Findlay (b.1954). She was the first ever female and first foreigner since the Meji Period (1868-1912) to teach architecture at Tokyo University; she later became Professor of Architecture and Environment at the University of Dundee. Distinguished projects include Soft and Hairy House of 1994, Grafton New Hall of 2002 and the ArcelorMittal Orbit with Anish Kapoor (b.1954) and Cecil Balmond (b.1943) for the London 2012 Olympic Park.[33] Findlay was invited to contribute to the RSA Annual Exhibition of 2005, two years before her election to the Academy. She was a selector of the 2012 RSA New Contemporaries exhibition, which highlights emerging artists and architects in Scotland.[34]  Her death in 2014 was marked with a Memorial Display in the following year’s Annual Exhibition.

In 2016, Mary Arnold-Forster (b.1962) became the second female architect to be elected to the RSA.[35] She is the only one amongst the 116 current Academicians, of whom twenty-two are architects (making the percentage of female to male architects 4.55%).[36]

 

THE FIRST FEMALE SENIOR OFFICER BEARER

 

Marion Smith RSA (b.1969), Dissection and Draught, 1997, sandstone, graphite and MDF, 35.5 x 40 x 15cm; 29.5 x 19 x 16cm; 13 x 35.9 x 33.1 cm; plinth 4.4 x 122 x 122cm. Royal Scottish Academy Diploma Collection (Deposited 2006) © Royal Scottish Academy. Photography: Sandy Wood

 

When the sculptor Marion Smith (b.1969) was appointed Secretary in 2012, she became the first female Senior Office Bearer of the RSA. Born in St Andrews, Smith studied at Gray’s School of Art and ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem. Working on a scale from the miniature to the monumental, she ‘explores the possibilities of a broad variety of materials and uses traditional skills in innovative ways’.[37] Her practice encompasses work made for a gallery context as well as site-specific commissions, which ‘embody a considered understanding of their context’.[38] Her first solo exhibition was held at the Crawford Arts Centre, St Andrews in 1997.

As Smith has explained:

My work at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Glasgow Sculpture Studios and as a Fine Art Technician at The Glasgow School of Art…[is significant to me]. I use a lot of different materials and techniques and now work with the support of specialists; significantly Fyfe Glenrock in Oldmeldrum (a granite company) and Powderhall Bronze in Edinburgh. When I say ‘support’, collaboration, sharing of knowledge and trust are key. Recently I have worked in glass with North Lands Creative in Caithness.[39]

Amongst Smith’s recent commissions are those for Trails + Tales, East Dunbartonshire in 2018 and for InchDarnie Distillery, Glenrothes in 2019.[40] She began exhibiting in the RSA Annual Exhibition in 1993, became an ARSA in 1998 and an RSA in 2005.

From its foundation, the RSA has been led by a Standing Committee of President, Secretary and Treasurer and by a Council, of which the Standing Committee office bearers are members. Between 2006 and 2020 the Academy’s operational structure has also come to include General Purposes, Exhibitions and Events plus Friends and Development Committees.[41] Major decisions are made collectively at the Assembly of Academicians, which is held quarterly. Amongst the Secretary’s duties are responsibility for the staff of the Academy, led by its Director and writing the introduction to the Annual Exhibition catalogue.[42] Smith served as Secretary until 2018; the second female Senior Office Bearer was Joyce W. Cairns (b.1947), when she was elected President in that year.

 

THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT

 

Joyce W. Cairns PRSA (b.1947), Polish Journey, c.1998, oil on board, 174 x 172cm. Royal Scottish Academy Diploma Collection (Deposited 1999) © Royal Scottish Academy. Photography: Andy Philipson

 

On her election in 2018, Joyce W. Cairns became the first female and twenty-second President of the RSA. Having contributed to the annual exhibition regularly since 1971, Cairns was elected an ARSA in 1985 when only four women were full Academicians, namely Mary Armour (1902-2000), Elizabeth Blackadder (b.1931), Ellen Malcolm (1923-2002) and Frances Walker (b.1930); Cairns joined four female ARSAs, namely Barbara Balmer (1929-2017), Elizabeth Dempster (1909-87), Frances Pelly (b.1947) and Barbara Rae (b.1943).[43] Cairns became an RSA in 1998, when admission to that rank was limited to thirty-six members.[44]

Cairns was born in Edinburgh. She studied at Gray’s School of Art, Hospitalfield College of Art, Arbroath, the Royal College of Art in London and at Goldsmiths, University of London. She taught at Gray’s for twenty-eight years before taking early retirement in 2004, in order to concentrate on her own practice. She has explained that her work is ‘mainly autobiographical, based on past memories intertwined with present experiences, often woven around the backcloth of the once fishing village of Footdee, at the mouth of Aberdeen harbour, where [I]…lived for…thirty-five years.’[45] A significant body of work, created as memorials under the umbrella title War Tourist, culminated in a celebrated solo exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery in 2006. Cairns has been a prolific exhibitor since 1970 and her most recent solo exhibition was The Magic Gate and Other Stories at Kilmorack Gallery, Beauly in 2018.

Amongst the RSA’s sister academies, the Royal West of England Academy, founded in Bristol in 1844, was the first to elect a female president when Janet Stancomb-Wills (1854-1932) assumed the role in 1911.[46] All four Academies currently have female presidents, the other three their first, namely Cairns in Edinburgh, plus Abigail O’Brien (b.1957) at the Royal Hibernian Academy, founded in Dublin in 1823 (elected in 2018, one month before Cairns), Rebecca Salter (b.1955) at the Royal Academy of Arts, founded in London in 1768 (elected in 2019) and Fiona Robinson (b. 1949) at the Royal West of England Academy (elected in 2019).[47]

Addressing the history of women at the RSA, Cairns points out that it – and her above-quoted predecessor Sir William Fettes Douglas – were of their time in their attitudes to gender.[48] She acknowledges the Academy’s past, whilst pointing out the rapid increase in the number of female members in the twenty-first century. This is especially true since the Supplementary Charter was implemented in 2005, the year in which an unprecedented eleven women attained the rank of RSA.[49]

Cairns has summed up her philosophy for the Academy, explaining:

The opinions of late 19th– and early 20th-century Academicians on gender have no place in today’s society and to keep apologising for these views gives them a credence they do not deserve. It should go without saying that, whether judging awards or electing new RSA members, all artists and architects are judged only on the quality of their work, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. As an organisation we continue to look forwards rather than backwards in our plans for continual betterment.[50]

Cairns has a three-fold vision for the RSA: to be more inclusive amongst its membership, to expand its education programme and to prepare for its 200th anniversary celebrations in 2026. The latter will provide an opportunity to appraise all aspects in the history of the RSA, including that regarding women, as well as to look to the future of Scotland’s longest-running artist-led institution.

 

 

ENDNOTES

[1] Quoted in The Scotsman, 23 January 1885, p. 7. Since 2005 the institution has been known as ‘The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture’. Please note that this article was written during the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown of 2020 meaning that access to research material was restricted. It is considered the first step in researching this rich topic. Please also note that there have been – and currently are – multiple significant female members and this essay focuses on those who were the first in eight categories or posts within the Academy’s constitution. The author is indebted to Joyce Cairns PRSA, Sophie Dixon, Beth Fisher RSA, Colin Greenslade, Tom Normand HRSA, Robin Rodger, Marion Smith RSA, Joanna Soden HRSA, Gavin Strang and Sandy Wood for their help with her research.

[2]See Esmé Gordon, The Making of the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1988, p. 9. See also https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/ [accessed 4 July 2020].

[5] See ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020. This goes up to 2019 and the next elections are due to be held in Autumn 2020. Strictly speaking, as Joanna Soden explained in an email to the author of 14 September 2020, prior to the Scottish Academy receiving its Royal Charter and becoming the Royal Scottish Academy, the membership would have used the titles Scottish Academician (SA), Associate Scottish Academician (ASA) and Honorary Scottish Academician (HSA). However, for simpicity’s sake, the terms RSA, ARSA and HRSA have been used throughout this essay.

[7] See ‘Honorary Members of the Royal Scottish Academy’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 17 July 2020.

[8] See entry for ‘Robertson, Mrs Christina’ in Ed. Charles Baile de Laperriere, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Hilmartin 1991, Vol. IV, R-Z, p. 68.

[9] Presidents of the Royal, Royal Hibernian and West of England Academies automatically become HRSAs for life on election. This is a reciprocal agreement amongst the Academies except with the Royal Academy, where the Honorary member status is only valid during the presidency term. As explained by Joyce Cairns in an email of 18 September 2020.

[10] See ‘Honorary Members of the Royal Scottish Academy’ [for the period 1829-2019] and ‘Honorary Academicians’ [of current HRSAs] lists provided by the RSA to the author on 17 July 2020, which remain valid as of 5 October 2020.

[11] For example, as stated in the RSA Nominations Books of 1897 to 1931, transcripts of which provided by the RSA to the author on 20 May and 8 June 2020.

[12] Recorded under 1936 p.53 in transcript of the RSA Nomination Book for Associateship from 1931 provided by the RSA to the author on 8 June 2020. For further information about the Scottish Modern Arts Association see https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/N14004219 and https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/view_as/grid/search/acquisition_auto:scottish-modern-arts-association [accessed 11 September 2020].

[13] See entry for ‘Miller, Mrs Josephine Haswell’ in Ed. Charles Baile de Laperriere, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Hilmartin 1991, Vol. III, L-Q, pp.276-277. Haswell Miller died in 1975 but it has not been possible to establish the exact date. The four works shown in 1975 may therefore have constituted a Memorial Display, meaning that she exhibited thirty-nine times between 1920 and 1970.

[15] Extracted from ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020.

[17] Recorded under 1936 p.57 in transcript of the RSA Nomination Book for Associateship from 1931 provided by the RSA to the author on 8 June 2020.

[18] Deduced from ‘RSA Academicians 1826-Present (alphabetical)’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 18 May 2020.

[19] See entry for ‘Bone, Phyllis Mary’ in Ed. Charles Baile de Laperriere, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Hilmartin 1991, Vol. I, A-D, pp.148-150.

[20] Extracted from ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020 and adjusted to include the elections of September 2020. Please note that Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion, who have the collaborative practice Dalziel + Scullion and were elected RSA (Elect) in 2012, have each been counted.

[21] Extracted from ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020 and adjusted to include the elections of September 2020. Please note that Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion of the collaborative practice Dalziel + Scullion have each been counted.

[22] Extracted from ‘Academicians February 2020’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 27 June 2020, updated since the deaths of James Morrison in August 2020 and of David Pugh Evans in September 2020 and the elections of September 2020. Please note that Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion of the collaborative practice Dalziel + Scullion have each been counted. Of the 116, 94 are artists and 22 are architects, see https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/royal-scottish-academicians/ [accessed 4 July 2020].

[23] Figures provided by the RSA to the author in an email of 1 October 2020.

[24] See https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/royal-scottish-academicians/ [accessed 4 July 2020].

[25] Deduced from ‘RSA Academicians 1826-Present (alphabetical)’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 18 May 2020.

[26] See transcript of ‘RSA Nomination Book for Associateship from 1931’ provided by the RSA to the author on 8 June 2020.

[27] See entry for ‘Redpath, Anne’ in Ed. Charles Baile de Laperriere, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Hilmartin 1991, Vol. IV, R-Z, pp. 12-13.

[28] See https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/members/beth-fisher/ [accessed on 4 July 2020] and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beth_Fisher_%28artist%29 [accessed on 5 July 2020].

[29] See entry for ‘Fisher, Beth’ in Ed. Charles Baile de Laperriere, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Hilmartin 1991, Vol II, E-K p. 56, supplemented by information provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020 and on 17 July 2020 and by Beth Fisher in an email of 15 September 2020. Fisher’s Grisaille Legacy exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue, see https://academiciansgallery.org/publications/13-beth-fisher-grisaille-legacy/ [accessed 17 September 2020].

[30] See ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020 and as elaborated by the RSA in an email of 11 September 2020.

[31] This means that nobody, whether male or female, attained the rank of RSA in the Printmaker category. This  reform explained by Joyce Cairns in an email of 14 September 2020.

[32] As explained by Joanna Soden to the author in a telephone interview of 12 June 2020. The membership discipline of those elected before 2005 was recorded as part of their membership history, but thenceforth all RSAs have been categorised simply as ‘Artist’ or ‘Architect’.

[33] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathryn_Findlay and https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jan/15/kathryn-findlay [both accessed 5 July 2020].

[34] See https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/exhibitions/rsa-new-contemporaries-4/ and https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/exhibitions/rsa-new-contemporaries-2012/ [both accessed 5 July 2020].

[35] See ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ and ‘Academicians February 2020’ lists provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020 and 27 June 2020.

[36] See https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/royal-scottish-academicians/ [accessed 7 July 2020]. Extracted from ‘Academicians February 2020’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 27 June 2020, updated since the deaths of James Morrison in August 2020 and of David Pugh Evans in September 2020. Please note that Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion of the collaborative practice Dalziel + Scullion have each been counted.

[37] See http://www.marionsmithsculptor.co.uk/about/ and https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/members/marion-smith/ both [accessed 5 July 2020].

[38] See http://www.marionsmithsculptor.co.uk/about/ and https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/members/marion-smith/ both [accessed 5 July 2020].

[39] Email from the artist to the author of 6 July 2020, updated in an email of 13 September 2020.

[40] See https://gsahatchery.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/marion-smith-for-trails-and-tales/ and http://inchdairniedistillery.com/the-inchdairnie-sculpture-time/ [both accessed 10 September 2020].

[41] The Academy’s governance structure can be found here: https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/about-us/governance/ [accessed 17 September 2020].

[42] As explained by Marion Smith during a telephone interview with the author of 16 June 2020, to which much of this section is indebted.

[43] See entry for ‘Cairns, Joyce Winifred’ in Ed. Charles Baile de Laperriere, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Annual Exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy, Hilmartin 1991, Vol. I, A-D, p.153 and extracted from ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020.

[44] As explained by Joyce W. Cairns during a telephone interview with the author of 16 June 2020, to which much of this section is indebted.

[45] See http://www.joycecairns.co.uk/ and https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/members/joyce-w-cairns/ [both accessed 5 July 2020]. ‘Thirty-three years’ updated to ‘thirty-five years’ by the artist in an email to the author of 8 July 2020.

[46] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_West_of_England_Academy [accessed 5 July 2020].

[47] See http://www.rhagallery.ie/about/history/, https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/rebecca-salter-pra and https://www.rwa.org.uk/artists/fiona-robinson-prwa [all accessed 5 July 2020] Betty Brown (b.1956) is currently the sixth female President of the Royal Ulster Academy, having been elected to the post in 2018, as explained by Brown in an email to the author of 28 September 2020.

[48] As explained in an email from Joyce W. Cairns to the author of 26 June 2020, to which much of this section is indebted.

[49] Extracted from the ‘RSA Academicians 1826 – present’ list provided by the RSA to the author on 15 June 2020.

[50] Email from the artist to the author of 12 July 2020.