Elizabeth Blackadder

DBE, RA, RSA, RSW, RGI Born: 1931
Place of Birth: Falkirk
Died: 2021

Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk in 1931. She studied at ECA from 1949 until 1954 under Robert Henderson Blyth and William Gillies inter alia and earned travelling scholarships to southern Europe and Italy. In 1956 she married artist and fellow Scottish Gallery exhibitor John Houston and began teaching in Edinburgh. She taught at Edinburgh College of Art from 1962 until her retirement in 1986. One of Scotland's greatest artists, she also garners recognition and success in London. In 1972, Blackadder was elected member of the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and in 1976 she gained entry at the Royal Academy, London - the first woman to be elected into both institutions. In 2001, Elizabeth was made the first female Artist Limner by HRH The Queen, a position within the Royal Household unique to Scotland. One decade later, in 2011 (the year she turned 80) a major retrospective of her work opened at the National Galleries of Scotland.

Dame Elizabeth Blackadder is perhaps best known for her detailed yet lyrical watercolours of flowers, 'table-top' compositions using Oriental objects and her beloved cats. Trips to Japan and Venice and a greater emphasis on oil can be seen in landscape and townscape pieces as well as important still life series using decorated tins and boxes arranged with exotic fish, fruit and vegetables.

To view prints by Elizabeth Blackadder please click here.

Our Elizabeth Blackadder page is regularly updated. If you would like to receive an alert when our page had been refreshed with recent acquisitions, please don't hesitate to contact The Gallery. Information on how to get in touch, please click here.

We exhibited work by Elizabeth Blackadder in September 2020. To view the exhibition, please click here, and have written a short tribute here.

In November 2021, The Scottish Gallery and The Garden Museum, London celebrated Elizabeth with a new exhibition called Favourite Flowers. This had been scheduled for February and now marks the first Memorial exhibition to celebrate her life and art.


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