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Lent Term Lecture 2

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  • User‘The Life and Work of MacDonald Gill: mapmaker and artist ’ by Caroline Walker, Andrew Johnston and Angela Johnston
  • ClockSaturday 22 March 2014, 19:30-21:00
  • HouseSPRI Lecture Theatre, Lensfield Road.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ellen Bazeley-White.

This is a normal lecture in the lecture series - and not a special ticketed event as advertised in Polar Bytes 69.

When Priscilla, the daughter of calligrapher Edward Johnston, died in 1984, her nephew Andrew Johnston inherited not just her cottage, but also a treasure trove of memorabilia and artwork linked to her first husband, the graphic artist and pictorial mapmaker MacDonald Gill. This collection formed the basis of the exhibition Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill which took place in 2011 at the University of Brighton and 2013 at the Pitzhanger Manor Gallery in Ealing. In 2006, at the same time as the exhibition was first mooted, Caroline Walker, Max’s great-niece, who had begun to research his life, contacted Andrew. She was astounded by the quantity and quality of material – poster maps, family photos, letters, scrap books and original artwork, which revealed not just the genius of Max’s art, but also the personality and life story of the artist himself. Years of reading and photographing ensued! Andrew’s wife Angela then undertook the mammoth task of organising and documenting this mountain of material. Meanwhile, she also became fascinated in the love story of Max and Priscilla, which is vividly described in the journals Priscilla kept throughout her life.

This talk will reflect the differing interests of the three speakers. Andrew will discuss how Max’s works, especially his pictorial maps, document the world in which he lived, from the Edwardian era to the Second World War. Caroline will focus on Max’s life, influences and career, with special mention of his work at the SPRI , while Angela will talk about the relationship between Max and Priscilla Johnston.

This talk is part of the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute lecture series series.

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