Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill

Ceylon Tea and other industries (1933)
Ceylon Tea and other industries (1933)

This year has been something of a triumph for the legacy of MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill – creator of some stunning pieces of 20th century information design.

Peter Pan Map of Kensington Gardens (1923)
Peter Pan Map of Kensington Gardens (1923)

Back in March, east London’s Kemistry Gallery held an exhibition of his work, and now his work will go west to a larger-scale show in Ealing’s PM Gallery & House.

Nursery Rhymes of London Town (1916)
Nursery Rhymes of London Town (1916)

Entitled Out of the Shadows, the exhibition aims to cast a light on Gill’s vast body of work, which includes graphic design, maps, illustration and murals.

Gill also dabbled in typography, though is work in that field is somewhat overshadowed by that of his more famous elder brother Eric.

 All Quiet on the Western Front 1st English translation (1929)
All Quiet on the Western Front 1st English translation (1929)

Inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 19th and early 20th century, Max Gill’s work managed to explore transport and communication’s political and social issues with a bright, bold, and often light-hearted aesthetic.

Theatreland (1915)
Theatreland (1915)

His most recognisable work is perhaps his series of seven maps created for the London Underground.

The first of these was his glorious Wonderground Map of London Town, a dazzlingly intricate cartographical creation:

The Wonderground Map of London Town (1914)
The Wonderground Map of London Town (1914)

Alongside his maps, Gill also worked on such diverse projects as creating the alphabet for standard military headstones (for the Imperial War Graves Commission, designing a new logo and posters for the General Post Office and painted wind-dial panel maps commissioned by architect Edwin Lutyens.

Alongside complete works, Out of the Shadows will also feature a number of Gill’s personal papers, exhumed form the Sussex cottage the designer shared with his second wife Priscilla, until his death in 1947.

The Sun Engraving Company emblem (c.1915)
The Sun Engraving Company emblem (c.1915)

Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill 
Dates runs from 20 September – 2 November at PM Gallery & Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5

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  • Luis Pais November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hi there, I like the sound of proverbial saying I KEEP THE TIME. Like many people nowdays they struggle to keep the time in whatever they do. Am i the type of person called the Prodigal son or the Radiant child.
    Regards
    Luis Pais

    DAVID

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