Margaret Watkins produced Opus 1, arguably her first art photograph, in 1914 while a student at the Clarence H. White summer school, but even at that early stage, her fundamental project was evident: to find new forms and a new way of seeing in the angles and curves of everyday life. Over her twenty-three-year career, the pioneering photographer moved from soft-focus Pictorialism to the radical presentation of domestic still-life studies—notably her dirty dishes, and the seductive folds of her enamel sink. She went on to a successful career in advertising photography, and post-1928, in step with the New Vision in Europe, she produced avant-garde urban photographs of Glasgow’s harbour and street scenes in Paris, London, and Moscow.

  • Opus 1

    Opus 1 1914

  • Evening

    Evening 1923

  • The Kitchen Sink

    The Kitchen Sink 1919

  • Domestic Symphony

    Domestic Symphony 1919

  • Self-Portrait

    Self-Portrait 1923

  • Tower of Ivory

    Tower of Ivory 1924

  • Study for an advertisement [Woodbury’s Soap]

    Study for an advertisement [Woodbury’s Soap] 1924

  • Untitled [Glasgow, Finnieston Crane]

    Untitled [Glasgow, Finnieston Crane] 1932–38

  • Moscow [Youth Festival]

    Moscow [Youth Festival] 1933

  • Design for Carpet,

    Design for Carpet, “Blythswood,” front steps, centered c.1937

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