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John Watt Beattie
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John Watt Beattie (1859-1930), photographer and antiquarian, was born on 15 August 1859 at Aberdeen, Scotland, son of John Beattie, master house-painter and photographer, and his wife Esther Imlay, née Gillivray. After a grammar-school education he migrated with his parents and brother in 1878, and struggled to clear a farm in the Derwent Valley, Tasmania. He soon turned to his life's work. From 1879 he made many photographic expeditions into the bush, becoming a full-time professional in 1882 in partnership with Anson Bros whom he bought out in 1891. Gifted with both physical zeal and craftsman skills, he probably did more than anyone to shape the accepted visual image of Tasmania. An admirer of William Piguenit, Beattie stressed the same wildly romantic aspects of the island's beauty. His work included framed prints, postcards, lantern-slides and albums, and was the basis for a popular and pleasing set of Tasmanian pictorial stamps (in print 1899-1912).
Many of Beattie's photographs of people and places were published in the Cyclopedia of Tasmania, (1st edn. 1900). He also prepared sets of lecture slides on the topography and history of Tasmania and gave many lectures himself. He was interested in the history and made an important collection of items relating to Port Arthur &convict days, which was sold to the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston in 1927. Another collection was secured for the Tasmanian Museum Hobart after Beattie's death through William Walker, the City paying £250. Some of Beattie's lectures and photographic notes were placed with the Royal Society's manuscripts on loan by the Museum. Some other papers of J.W. Beattie were bequeathed by him to the Royal Society for safe-keeping. These consist of copies of historical manuscripts and some original manuscripts, press cuttings and notes.
For more information see: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/beattie-john-watt-5171