June 2018

Discovering Macdonald Gill: Architect, Artist and Mapmaker

Welcome to The Arts Society Tring Park
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 -
10:30 to 11:30
Berkhamsted Civic Centre
High Street Berkhamsted HP4 3HD

MacDonald 'Max' Gill, younger brother of the sculptor and typographer Eric Gill, was an architect, graphic designer and letterer, best known for his pictorial maps, especially those for the London Underground.

He also created painted maps for Arts & Crafts houses including Lindisfarne Castle, magnificent murals for Cunard liners, and eye-catching publicity posters for organisations such as the Empire Marketing Board. An enduring legacy is his alphabet for the Imperial War Graves Commission used on all British military headstones since the First World War. This illustrated talk by Max Gill’s great-niece presents a colourful overview of this versatile artist's personal life and artistic achievements.


Mrs Caroline Walker

After embarking on family history research in 2006, I became fascinated in the life and work of my great-uncle MacDonald 'Max' Gill (1884-1947), an architect and graphic artist, best known for his decorative maps. Although well-known in his time, he was all but forgotten after his death unlike his brother Eric Gill, the controversial sculptor. Recently there has been a massive resurgence of interest in Max's work - much the result of exhibitions I have co-curated including Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill (2011) hosted by the University of Brighton and articles I have written for publications including Country Life, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and the Journal for the International Map Collectors Society. I've also given talks for the National Archives, the Art Workers' Guild, Christie's, Friends of Kettle's Yard and the National Trust. I'm currently writing a biography and I run the MacDonald Gill website.