Dame Elizabeth Blackadder RA (1931 - 2021)

Elizabeth Blackadder studied at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art from 1949 to 1954. In 1954 she was awarded a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship by the Royal Scottish Academy, which took her to southern Europe. Blackadder also received an Andrew Grant Post-Graduate Scholarship. In 1955 she was awarded another Travelling Scholarship and spent nine months in Italy. In 1956 Blackadder married the painter, John Houston and lectured in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1962 to 1986.

Blackadder’s first solo exhibition was held in 1959 at 57 Gallery, Edinburgh. Since then, solo exhibitions of her work have been held almost every year to date, both nationally and internationally. She also participated extensively in group exhibitions around the world.

Blackadder received a number of awards, including the Guthrie Award, Royal Scottish Academy (1962) and the Pimms Award for Work on Paper (Royal Academy, 1983). She was joint-winner of the Royal Academy’s Watercolour Foundation Award in 1988. Blackadder was elected Member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1972, a Royal Academician in 1976 and a Member of The Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts in 1983. She was an Honorary Member of the Royal West of England Academy, the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She also received Honorary Doctorates from four Scottish universities. In 2001 she was appointed Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. Blackadder lived and worked in Edinburgh.


Royal Academician


Born: 24 September 1931 in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

Died: 23 August 2021

Nationality: British

Elected ARA: 22 April 1971

Elected RA: 29 April 1976

Elected Senior RA: 1 October 2006

Gender: Female

Preferred media: Painting and Watercolour

Works by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder in the RA Collection

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Works associated with Dame Elizabeth Blackadder in the RA Collection

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Associated archives

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