Norman McBeath


Norman McBeath is a photographer and printmaker. The National Portrait Galleries in London and Edinburgh have over seventy of his portraits in their collections. His work has been shown as part of exhibitions at the Leica Gallery in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. A number of award-winning writers have produced original work in response to his photographs including Jeanette Winterson (Oxford at Night, 2006), A. L. Kennedy (Evidence, 2006) and Janice Galloway (City Stories, 2008). Collaborations with poets include Plan B with Paul Muldoon (Enitharmon Press, 2009), Simonides with Robert Crawford (Easel Press, 2011), Venice with Robert Crawford (Easel Press, 2013), The Beach with Kathleen Jamie (Easel Press, 2013) and Light Box with Robert Crawford (Easel Press 2015).

Simonides was shown at Yale University (2012) and the Poetry Foundation, Chicago (2013). He was recently awarded a Fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co. Mayo (2015) and subsequently invited to show work from the Fellowship in the exhibition Between the Land and the Sea (2016) at the Keeper’s House, Royal Academy, London.


  • 1976–80 University of Stirling, BSc Hons Psychology.

Residencies and Awards

  • 2015 Fellowship at Ballinglen Arts Foundation.
  • 2012 New Work Award, Creative Scotland.
  • 2012 Arts and Humanities Small Research Grant, Royal Society of Edinburgh.
  • 2010 Jenifer Cole Charitable Trust Award.


  • National Portrait Gallery, London.
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.
  • Australian National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
  • The British Library, London.
  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.
  • The British Council, London.
  • Special Collections, University of St Andrews.
  • Special Collections, University of Edinburgh.
  • University of Stirling Art Collection.
  • Harvard University.
  • Yale Center for British Art.

Key Exhibitions and Commissions

  • 2017 IXth International Engraving Exhibition, invited artist, Cremona, Italy.
  • 2017 Ambit, exhibition of photographs showcasing leading contemporary photography by invited photographers, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh.
  • 2016 Between the Land and the Sea, exhibition of works on paper by invited artists and academicians, Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts, London.
  • 2016 Loch Computer, collaboration with Leena Nammari, Tent Gallery, Evolution House, Edinburgh College of Art.
  • 2015 Imprints, new folio of photogravures commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers.
  • 2015 Light Box, collaboration with Robert Crawford commissioned by the University of St Andrews in response to the 2015 Unesco International Year of Light.
  • New Bridges, invited artist, Nitra State Museum, Slovakia.
  • 2012/2013 Simonides, collaboration with Robert Crawford, Yale University, New Haven, USA; Corpus Christi College, Oxford University; and The Poetry Foundation, Chicago, USA.
  • 2010 Plan B, collaboration with Paul Muldoon, Scottish Poetry Library as part of Edinburgh Arts Festival; and Triskel Arts, Cork, Ireland.
  • 2009 Faces of Poetry: Contemporary Photographs National Portrait Gallery, London and touring.
  • 2008 City Stories, collaboration with Janice Galloway, French Institute, Edinburgh.
  • 2006 Evidence, Photogravures and photographs, text by A.L. Kennedy, Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh.
  • 2006 Oxford at Night, text by Jeanette Winterson, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Key Acquisitions

  • 2018 Holy Rood, collaboration with Robert Crawford, limited edition boxed set, The British Library.
  • 2017 Holy Rood, collaboration with Robert Crawford, limited edition boxed set, National Library of Scotland.
  • 2017 Six portraits, Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
  • 2017 Five portraits of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Photography Collection, Royal Collection Trust, Windsor Castle.
  • 2017 Andante, limited edition boxed set, Special Collections, University of St. Andrews.
  • 2016 Self-portrait and five other portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London.
  • 2016 Andante, limited edition boxed set, National Library of Scotland.
  • 2016 Light Box, collaboration with Robert Crawford, limited edition boxed set National Library of Scotland.
  • 2014 Venice, collaboration with Robert Crawford, limited edition boxed set, British Library.
  • 2014 The Beach, collaboration with Kathleen Jamie, limited edition boxed set, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.
  • 2012 Two portraits, National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Key Publications

  • 2017 Chinese Makars, collaboration with Robert Crawford, published by Easel Press.
  • 2012 Simonides, collaboration with Robert Crawford, shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award, published by Easel Press.
  • 2009 Plan B, collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon, published by Enitharmon Press.
  • City Stories, collaboration with Janice Galloway, published by Easel Press.
  • 2006 Oxford at Night, collaboration with Jeanette Winterson, published by Easel Press.
  • 1992 Photographers’ Britain: Oxfordshire, published by Alan Sutton.


  • 2017 In Conversation with Stills Director, Ben Harman, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh.
  • 2016 Presentation of the Light Box Work, with Robert Crawford, University of St. Andrews.
  • 2014 Loch Computer: Remoteness and Connectedness in the Digital Era, Turing Room, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2013 Beirut and Beyond, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
  • 2012 Development of the Simonides Work, with Robert Crawford, Royal Society of Edinburgh.
  • 2012 Simonides and the War on Terror with Robert Crawford, Yale University, New Haven, USA.