Adam Bruce Thomson was born in Edinburgh in 1885. He studied at the Trustees' Academy and then at the newly-established Edinburgh College of Art where he was awarded diplomas in architecture, drawing and painting as well as scholarships which enabled him to travel to Spain, Holland and Paris. After serving in the army in the First World War Thomson returned to Edinburgh College of Art to teach Composition and other subjects, retiring in 1950. His colleagues and friends at the College included Sir William Gillies, Sir William MacTaggart, John Maxwell and other leading members of the Edinburgh School. Thomson was made a Royal Scottish Academician in 1936 and was President of the Royal Scottish Society of Watercolours from 1956-63. He painted principally in the Highlands and Islands, the Borders and Edinburgh.