MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life (Hardback)
  • MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life (Hardback)
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MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life (Hardback)

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£30.00
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 01/06/2020
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Waterstones Says

Sumptuously produced and deeply informative, Walker’s magisterial overview of the great architect and graphic artist’s career highlights both Gill’s stunning design work and draws connections to other seminal figures of twentieth-century art who moved within his orbit. Luxurious and enlightening, this is the definitive volume on a criminally underrated figure.

MacDonald 'Max' Gill (1884-1947) was an architect, letterer, mural painter and graphic artist of the first half of the twentieth century, best known for his pioneering pictorial poster maps including the whimsical Wonderground Map of London Town. His beautiful painted panel maps decorate the Palace of Westminster and Lindisfarne Castle and the alphabet he designed in 1918 is still used on the British military headstone. He enjoyed close links with many leading figures in the arts & crafts world: the architects Sir Charles Nicholson, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Halsey Ricardo, the calligrapher Edward Johnston, Frank Pick of the London Underground, and of course his brother - the sculptor and typographer Eric Gill. Overshadowed in recent times by his controversial sibling, MacDonald Gill was nevertheless a significant artist of his time. With much of his four-decade output touching on the remarkable events and developments of his time - including two world wars, the decline of Empire, the advent of flight, and innovations in communications technology, his work also takes on a unique historical importance. Drawing chiefly from family archives, this biography of MacDonald Gill is the first publication to tell the story of this complex and talented man.

Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781912690893
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 240 x 196 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"MacDonald Gill is drawn out of his brother's shadow by a fine biography. Five stars." * Daily Telegraph (UK) *
"The first biography of 'Max' Gill reveals the versatile talent of an artist who was a master of lettering and murals and a standout mapmaker-artist. . . . Beautifully illustrated and clearly written, Caroline Walker's book is an engaging study of an artist who came to maturity at the end of the nineteenth century and whose work partook of generous-spirited artistic ideals, formed at a time of accelerating globalisation. Gill's output was rooted in a deep love of the historic but it is also unmistakably of its time. He belongs to a rich chapter in the history of English art and design that is all too often overlooked in our enthusiasm for the rise of the adventurous but clinical modern, which (all too quickly) overtook it." * Art Newspaper *
"Walker's new biography finally accords [Gill's] diverse, four-decade-long career the canonical status it deserves. Dispelling the narrow view of cartography as an exclusively practical pursuit, Walker's chronological history of Gill's life and work asserts his status as an artist first and foremost. Born out of a career that spanned significant historical milestones-the advent of flight, the decline of empire, two World Wars, to name but a few-Gill's oeuvre represents an important point of reference in modern British visual culture. . . . The biography succeeds in bringing the cartography of an extremely talented man to life." * Town & Country (UK) *
"MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life certainly sets things straight and contains many such anecdotes as part of the author's mission to re-establish the standing of an artist which for too long has been as ephemeral as his posters. Handsome and densely illustrated, this satisfying tome is the culmination of 14 years' research into Max Gill's life and work. . . . Deploying the obsessive zeal of a family historian and with a fondness for random detail, Walker has fashioned an engaging narrative to parallel this nicely illustrated visual chronology." * The Critic (UK) *
"One of the most original British map-makers working in the twentieth century. His maps display a distinctive, idiosyncratic vision of the world which has been much imitated but rarely equalled. . . . Walker's biography is finally able to do true justice to the many aspects of this remarkable career, and there really is nobody better to write his story." -- Tom Harper, lead curator of antiquarian mapping, The British Library

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