Other Works in Edinburgh

The Song School, St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place

The small building to the north of the Cathedral was built in the 1880s for the Cathedral Choir’s daily rehearsals and it has been in use almost continuously ever since. This mural scheme, decorated between 1888 and 1892, illustrates the canticle Benedicite Omnia Opera as a celebration of all creation. The imagery celebrates the relationship between the arts and included portraits of the clergy and choir of St Mary’s, important poet, writers and artists as well as representation of nature in all its abundance and beauty.

Mortuary Chapel, Royal Hospital for Sick Children (not currently open to the public)

1n 1885-6 she decorated a former coal-house at the hospital in Lauriston Lane, creating a chapel of rest and a place of beauty to comfort bereaved parents. When the Hospital moved to a new site in Sciennes, in South Edinburgh, she encouraged a campaign to preserve the murals and oversaw the transfer of those panels which could be moved. In 1896-8 – while working at the Catholic Apostolic Church – she repaired and extended the murals in a simpler style.

The Scottish National Gallery Scottish Wing
The Progress of a Soul: The Entrance | National Galleries of Scotland

A suite of four spectacular embroidered panels ‘The Progress of a Soul’ (1893-1902) are presented in a new display together with paintings including a surviving section of her first mortuary chapel (1885-6) and her triptych ‘Motherhood’ (1901).

The National Galleries of Scotland Print Room has works on paper and several illuminated manuscripts including her bound ‘Psalms of David’ (c.1883/93), (can be seen by appointment only).

City Art Centre, 2 Market Street
City Art Centre | Museums and Galleries Edinburgh (edinburghmuseums.org.uk)

‘The Salvation of Mankind’ (c.1886-1893) is a three-panel framed embroidery designed as a draughtscreen for use in the Traquairs’ home at 8 Dean Park Crescent. The figurative design combines ideas drawn from Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite art and is an early rendition of her theme of the journey of the spirit (can be seen by appointment only).

University of Edinburgh Main Library, Special Collections, George Square

Bound illuminated manuscript of The Creation (1897) revisiting border designs from the Song School murals, also a tooled leather book-cover of the Psalms (1898) (by appointment).

National Museums Scotland Chambers Street, Level 5 ‘Design for Living’ gallery.

The display includes the ‘Willowwood’ piano designed by Robert Lorimer and decorated by her (1909-10), the embroidered triptych ‘The Red Cross Knight’ (1904-14), illuminated pages, the artist’s own embroidered bedspread (1924-5) and a range of fine book bindings, enamelled objects and jewellery.

High Kirk of St Giles’, High Street (visitors should check access)

The Thistle Chapel is home to the Order of the Thistle, an order of Scottish chivalry. The Chapel designed by Robert Lorimer is furnished with 19 stalls, one for each of the 16 knights arranged on either side of the 3 royal stalls. The arms of past and present knights are represented by enamelled plaques fixed to the back panel of the stall. The earliest enamel plaques (1910-11) are her work.

Colinton At the foot of Bridge Road there are wrought iron gate and railings, designed in the 1920s by Phoebe Anna Traquair with architect Frank C Mears and created by Thomas Hadden. The graves of Dr Ramsay Traquair and his wife, Phoebe Anna Traquair, are in Colinton Parish Church graveyard, the gravestone designed by the sculptor Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson in 1913 has two carved fossil fish for Dr Traquair and an artist’s palette for his wife.

The National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge

Exquisite illustrated manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’, one of the National Library of Scotland’s treasures. Made in Edinburgh between 1892 and 1897, it is among the finest examples of her work. The library also has her fine bound illumination of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sonnet sequence The House of Life (1898-1902) (both manuscripts are available with a library reader’s ticket).

Murals Elsewhere

All Saints’ Church, Thorney Hill, Bransgore, near Christchurch

Built in 1906 for Lord Manners following the death of his daughter from cholera the church was designed by Detmar Blow with Arts & Crafts principles in mind – to be lit by candles.

The later Traquair mural (1920-22) commemorates Lady Constance Manners and fills the whole semi-circular apse from floor to ceiling. Below the figure of Christ blessing the mural illustrates the Te Deum with biblical characters accompanied by many others including William Blake and Louis Pasteur. The church also contains art by Bertram McKennal and Eric Gill.

The Traquair Murals, St Peter’s Church, Clayworth, Nottinghamshire

Murals in this beautiful twelfth-century church are said to be the largest single work of art in the East of England. Created in the early 1904-05, restored and partly repainted by Elizabeth Hirst in 1999, they cover all four walls of the chancel and include portraits of local families.

Other works in Edinburgh

Phoebe Anna Traquair, Self-portrait,1911, National Galleries of Scotland, Bequeathed by Professor Ramsay Traquair 1952