Miss Robina Sophia Crawford
Born 3 May 1840
Active: 1877 - 1900
Country of birth and death: Scotland
Teacher, sculptor, artist
Born in Ayr. She was the youngest of six children of Archibald Crawford (1784-1843). He was an auctioneer by profession but also a minor Scottish poet and writer of tales often relating to west country tradition. Robina was the sister of William Crawford ARSA (1822-69) a well-known portrait and genre painter who worked in Edinburgh. Robina appears to have come to Edinburgh in the 1850s and worked as a governess for a time. By the early 1870s she was listed in the Post Office Directory as the proprietor of a small preparatory school at 2 West Maitland Street, Edinburgh. About 1878, the school was located at 40 Palmerston Place and was ultimately listed as a 'young ladies college, boarding and day school'.
She evidently qualified herself to teach art because in the 1886-87 directory she is listed 'Crawford, Miss R. S. (diploma), teacher of drawing, painting and modelling, 11A Shandwick Place'. The next year there is no listing for her but in the 1888-89 edition, and for the next 10 years, the PO Directory categorises her as a 'teacher of painting, 15 Maitland Street'. In her final listing (1899-1900) her address was 69 Shandwick Place. Thereafter she appears to have retired to Portobello where she lived until her death. She never married.
Her brother William was a prolific exhibitor at the annual RSA and also RA exhibitions. Robina seems exhibited only once at the RSA but she also showed work at The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. The subject of her portrait shown at the RSA may be Sir John Campbell (1802–1878), an army officer in the East India Company, who was made a general in 1877 and lived in Edinburgh in the final years of his life.
This record is based on information submitted by Graeme Hicks, a descendant of the artist.
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Address 2 West Maitland Street Edinburgh
Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, The Fifty-Fourth, 1880
'General Sir John Campbell, KCBT, Esq., MT'
The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1861-1989. Volume 1, A-D. A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1990 The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1861-1989
Citing this record
'Miss Robina Sophia Crawford', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [https://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib6_1205513342, accessed 03 Mar 2024]