Can you help us trace the heirs of these Scottish artists?

    We need your help! We’re looking to distribute over £20,000 in royalties to the heirs of more than 80 Scottish artists. Can you help us find them?

    Over 120 artists’ heirs traced in 2016

    In the UK and parts of Europe, artists and their estates are entitled to royalties when their copyright-protected work resells on the art market. This is due to the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR).
    In the UK, DACS collects and distributes these royalties to artists and estates. Since the law was introduced in 2006, we’ve distributed over £56 million to over 4,300 artists and estates.
    Occasionally, we receive royalties from sales of unrepresented artists, and these go through a formal tracing process.

    Last year, we successfully located the heirs of over 120 artists due almost £30,000 in royalties – sometimes crossing continents and reuniting families in the process.

    Wanted: Cameron, King, Watt and more

    A search is currently underway to find the heirs of over 80 Scottish artists owed more than £20,000 in ARR royalties.
    We've joined forces with the Glasgow School of Art to locate the heirs of the Glasgow Girls associated with ‘The Glasgow School’ – a circle of influential artists and designers during the turn of the nineteenth century century who studied and are associated with the world-renowned art school. While their work may sell for thousands of pounds, the whereabouts of their families are unknown. 
    Our list also includes alumni of Edinburgh College of Art and Gray's School of Art, among others. Many of the artists additionally went on to become members of institutions including the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists, Royal Glasgow Institute of The Fine Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA).

    Katherine Cameron (1874-1965)

    An acclaimed landscape painter, book illustrator and etcher. She was one of the Glasgow Girls and part of a group of women artists referred to as ‘The Immortals’. Cameron studied at The Glasgow School of Art from 1889-1901 and later at the Atelier Colarossi, Paris. She was elected a member of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists around 1893, and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1897. In 1928, she married the art collector Arthur Kay (1861-1939).

    Jessie Marion King (1875-1949)

    A renowned children’s book illustrator and designer of jewellery, fabrics and pottery. One of the Glasgow Girls, King studied at The Glasgow School of Art in 1892 and taught there from 1899-1908. In 1908, she married the artist Archibald Ernest Taylor. They moved to Salford where their daughter Merle Elspeth was born. In 1910, they moved to Paris and in 1911, they opened the Sheiling Atelier School. King and Taylor moved to Kirkcudbright in 1915 and continued to work there until her death.

    Elizabeth Mary Watt (1885-1954)

    Born in Dundee on Valentine’s Day 1885, Watt designed for woven fabric maker Joseph M Saddler before enrolling as a commercial colourist at The Glasgow School of Art. Later she became a freelance artist and in 1919 was made a member of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists and embarked on a lifetime of successful exhibiting until her death in 1954. Watt was one of the youngest ‘Glasgow Girls’ and was a contemporary of Jess Marion King and close friend of Hesse Schotz, sister of Benno Schotz – one of Scotland’s leading 20th century artists.

    View the full list of Scottish artists here

    How you can help

    Now time is running out to locate and unite these heirs with the ARR royalties owed to them. After six years, where heirs aren’t found, we currently return the royalties to the gallery, auction house or dealer that sold the work. 
    Usually the beneficiary of the royalties will be the person or charity who has inherited the artist’s copyright, but in some cases this will depend on whether the artist made a will and what the will states.
    Think you have a lead? Please get in touch with our Artists’ Services Team at

    You can also help us by sharing this article with your networks or on social media using the hashtag #GlasgowSchoolHeirs

    For further information, download our press release here.

    Related links:

    Learn more about the Artist's Resale Right for artists and artist estates

    Gallery, auction house or dealer? Submit your recent sales details here.

    Join DACS as an artist's estate

    Image: Francis Newbery's Class, women students: Fra Newbery, Katherine Cameron, Rose Street, 1890-91. Image courtesy The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.

    Posted on 26/07/2017 by Jessica Bancroft