Artist: Robert Burns

Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:

First exhibited a Kirkcudbright subject at RSA 1896.  From 1900 regularly visited Kirkcudbright in company with MacGeorge, Henry, McGregor and J Campbell Mitchell.  Rented studio 89 High Street.


Evening classes at Glasgow School of Art; Professor Fred Brown’s school at Westminster; Academie Delacluse, Paris.

Professional Bodies:


Exhibited At:

Royal Scottish Academy; RSW; Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts; Aberdeen Artists’ Society; L; Royal Hibernian Academy.



Robert Burns 1869-1941, Artist and Designer, Bourne Fine Art (exhibition catalogue), 1983.  Tales of the Kirkcudbright Artists, Haig Gordon, Kirkcudbright, 2006.


Image, Aberdeen Art Gallery. 


The photograph of Robert Burns, taken about 1910, shows him with three of his students at Edinburgh College of Art.  On the right is Dorothy Johnstone and on the left Helen Urquhart.



Robert Burns was the first head of Drawing and Painting, 1908-1919, Edinburgh College Art.  "Influential and generous " in his encouragement of the students who included Anne Redpath, Adam Bruce Thomson and Alick Sturrock.  A regular visitor to the artistic community in Kirkcudbright, (he first exhibited a Kirkcudbright subject in 1896), Burns was instrumental in persuading a new generation of artists to paint and settle there."


Martin Andrew Forrest in Robert Burns 1869-1941 Artist and Designer Bourne Fine Art, (exhibition catalogue), 1983.  Number 3 in catalogue is Summer Evening on the Dee oil 36 by 44 in.  It was exhibited as Bathers, Royal Scottish Academy 1896 and as Summer Evening on the Dee, Munich 1907.  His Doachs of Tongueland was exhibited in 1899. 


He resigned as Head of Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art due to disagreement over teaching methods.  It was Burns who said that no student’s training was complete without a stint at Kirkcudbright (Stewartry Museum file).