ABOUT

MacDonald Gill, or ‘Max’ as he was known to family and friends, was one of the foremost graphic artists of the early twentieth century. Famed for his pictorial maps, he was also known for book illustration, church murals, architecture, and lettering.  His work influenced many graphic artists in his own time and cartographers today consider him as a pioneer in the art of pictorial map making.

After his death in 1947 his name and work were all but forgotten. This happened partly because the poster maps that brought Max success were ephemeral items, produced for publicity purposes rather than lasting artworks. Also, in the post-World War Two era – a time when the public were embracing the future and a new modernity – many of the poster images were an unwelcome reminder of a bygone age that included the Depression, the War, and the Empire.

My great-uncle Max died some years before I was born, but I’d always been fascinated by his maps. My quest to find out more about him began in late 2006 when I set out to produce a booklet of photos illustrating some of Max’s maps as a Christmas gift to my brothers. After deciding this needed some biographical information, I discovered there was almost nothing about Max either in books or on the internet. And so my journey began. 

I’ve now put much of my accumulated knowledge into an illustrated biography MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life. This will be published by Unicorn Press in June 2020. Meanwhile, this website is designed to be a place where you can find basic biographical information, events, links and publications, and see some of his wide range of work in a gallery of pictures. I’m an accredited speaker for The Arts Society and give lectures on Max around the country (see Events). If you want to get in touch with me, you can find links on the Contact page.

A Personal Message from Caroline Walker

Website Founder

My great-uncle Max died some years before I was born, but I’d always been fascinated by his maps. My quest to find out more about him began in late 2006 when I set out to produce a booklet of photos illustrating some of Max’s maps as a Christmas gift to my brothers. After deciding this needed some biographical information, I discovered there was almost nothing about Max either in books or on the internet. And so my journey began. 

I’ve now put much of my accumulated knowledge into an illustrated biography MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life. This will be published by Unicorn Press in June 2020. Meanwhile, this website is designed to be a place where you can find basic biographical information, events, links and publications, and see some of his wide range of work in a gallery of pictures. I’m an accredited speaker for The Arts Society and give lectures on Max around the country (see Events). If you want to get in touch with me, you can find links on the Contact page.

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