The opening exhibition is under the general theme of Forgotten Women, the first being the photographic work of Canadian-born Margaret Watkins, who was at the centre of artistic life in New York in the 1910’s and 20’s. She came in 1928 to Glasgow to visit her three maiden aunts – and got stuck, dying in 1969 in the Hyndland family home she inherited, alone and forgotten.
Prior to her death she gave a large box to Mulholland – on a strict promise that he would not open the tied and sealed trunk until after her death. Forty years after her demise, and with decades of work in the meantime, Margaret Watkins is at last receiving the recognition that eluded her after she left New York. The box contained original photographs taken, processed and printed by her. Many had been exhibited in major galleries in North America and Europe up to 1927. She is now in virtually every encyclopaedia of photography, and being recognised as the innovator of certain styles of photography credited to others, whom she taught. Among these were Paul Outerbridge (of the famed Ide Collar and later questionable nude studies) and Margaret Burke-White, who took the well known picture of Gandhi on his prayer mat, and the iconic images of the Chrysler building in New York in the 1930’s – as well as being one of the most celebrated of the Magnum war photographers.