Elected ARSA: 20 March 1963

Elected RSA: 9 February 1972

Dame Elizabeth Blackadder RSA (1931-2021) is widely recognised as one of Scotland's most significant twentieth-century artists. Born in Falkirk, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art under the tutelage of Sir Robin Philipson and William Gillies and lectured at the college from 1962 until her retirement in 1986.


After graduating in 1954, Blackadder was awarded both a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship and an Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarship. She used these funds to spend three months travelling through Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy, where she researched classical and Byzantine art. This founded a passion for travel which has continued through her prolific career.


Elected as a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1972 and the Royal Academy in 1976, she was the first woman to become a member of both institutions.


Blackadder painted largely in oil and watercolours but was also a skilled printmaker, working in a variety of printing techniques. Her sensitivity to her surroundings inspired still-life paintings in which she depicted objects in her studio often brought home from travels around Europe and Asia.