In 1954, the great American photographer Paul Strand travelled to the Hebridean islands off the west coast of Scotland to document the remote communities who lived there.

He shot pictures of the people and landscapes of Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay and then edited them down to the 105 plates published in his classic 1962 book Tîr a’Mhurain (Land of Bent Grass). The project was part of Strand’s ongoing attempt to record the ideal community. The nine photographs from the series purchased by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery are original, richly textured prints made by Strand himself. Among them are representative pictures from all three genres featured in the book: portraits, landscapes and abstract details. Their beauty, rarity and subject matter makes it all the more resonant that they are the first works by this renowned photographer to enter a public collection in Scotland.


From the artist to his wife, Hazel Kingsbury Strand in 1976; the Paul Strand Foundation 1976-1982; The Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation, Inc.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 1JD
0131 624 6200

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm. (6pm during August). Open from noon on 1 Jan. Closed 25 – 26 Dec.

Exhibitions at Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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