Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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James Williamson Galloway (Jock) Macdonald

May 31 1897 - December 3 1960

Design Diploma of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, 1922
B.C. Society of Artists (Life Member, President 1941-1943)
Federation of Canadian Artists (Founding Member 1941)
Canadian Group of Painters (Founding Member 1933)
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (President 1952-54, Member 1950-60)
Royal Canadian Academy (ARCA 1959)
Ontario Society of Artists
Painters Eleven

Macdonald was born in Thurso, Scotland, in 1897. He was a pupil at the College of Art, Edinburgh, and then apprenticed as an Architectural Draughtsman for Henry and Maclennen, Edinburgh. He was a staff textile designer for Morton Sundour Fabrics, England, prior to moving to Canada. He was hired as Head of Design at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (VSDAA) in 1926, holding the position until 1933.

He exhibited his work in the 1930 Spring Exhibition of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts, as well as their annual exhibitions in 1929, from 1936 to 1940, 1942 to 1947, 1949 to 1951, and in 1967. He created the cover art for the 1944 annual exhibition catalogue. In 1943 the artist was living in Capilano on the north shore.

He showed work in the B.C. Artists Christmas exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1933. Also in 1933 he exhibited a number of his important early paintings at an exhibition of work by the Palette & Chisel Club, held at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He won an Honourable Mention in 1933 for a landscape painting entered into the Lord Willingdon Dominion competition. He did mural decoration in the dining room of the new Hotel Vancouver.

He left the VSDAA to join Varley as Art Director at the B.C. College of Arts after receiving a cut in pay from the Director of the VSDAA, Charles H. Scott.

He exhibited in the B.C. Artists annual exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1932, 1934, from 1936 to 1939, 1941, 1943, and 1944. He exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy from 1930 to 1933, in 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1959, and 1960. He also showed work at Burlington House, London, in 1937, in the First Canadian Traveling Exhibition to Southern Dominions, 1937, the Tate Gallery, London in 1939, and at the Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, 1939.

Macdonald was on a list titled "Leading Vancouver Artists," provided to the Labour Arts Guild on April 10, 1946 by the Vancouver Art Gallery to assist in the Guild's call for entries to the second annual B.C. At Work exhibition.

The 1946 issue of VANTECH noted on the list of School Staff that Macdonald was in charge of the Design Workshop at the school. The student printers noted that "we praise Mr. Macdonald for his sponsorship of the art selections of the annual."


VANTECH staff photo with Macdonald standing second from the left

A major retrospective exhibition of his artwork was produced in 1970 by the National Gallery of Canada. The Burnaby Art Gallery hosted the exhibition and also added a number of works from local collections. As part of this exhibition a research paper (The Western Years) was put together and forwarded to the National Gallery. A copy of this paper was also sent to Macdonald's widow Barbara Macdonald. She wrote a long letter to the authors with corrections and comments to the information that had been put together, particularly relating to the trip to Nootka. Years later this paper and all of the research material related to the paper including her letter were donated to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The editor reviewed the fond briefly in April 2010.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1938 July 12 - 27 Six Local Artists VAG
1941 May 9 - 18 Solo Exhibition VAG
1941 Sept. 4 - 14 Solo Exhibition (22 paintings) VAG
1944 Nov. 21 - Dec. 10 Solo Exhibition (21 pictures) VAG
1946 Aug. 27 - Sept. 18 Solo Exhibition (12 pictures) VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1928 Feb 18 - Mar 18 Palette and Chisel Club   Exhibition Winter
Last Days of Summer
1929 Nov. 16 - 30 BCSFA   Winter Exhibition Landscape Form
Sphinx Peak, Garibaldi
Glacier Fields, Garibaldi
Trees
Mountain Study
1930 May 31 - June 14 BCSFA   Spring Exhibition Poster
Poster
Departing Day, Garibaldi Park
1932 May - July VAG   All Canadian Exhibition Sailor's Sand Bar, Fraser Canyon, B.C.
The Food Cache
Indian Salmon Pack (sic Rack)
The Pioneer (sculpture)
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual The Black Tusk, Garibaldi Park
The White Forest
The Cabin
The Cove
1933 May 20 - 31 VAG   Palette & Chisel Club Exhibition False Creed
Old Yale
Cylinders, Cubes and Cones
The Cabin
Still Grasping
Golden Glow
Low Tide
The Edge of the Wood
Red Mountain Garibaldi
Yale, B.C.
Stormy Water
The Hop Field
The First Fall
1933 Dec. 1 - 17 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition Towards Howe Sound
Beached
The Edge of the Woods
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Yale Valley, B.C.
Colour Symphony
Pike Peak - Garibaldi Park
1934 ? - ? VAG   B.C. Artists Edmonton Exhibition Pike Peak - Garibaldi Park
1934 Dec. 4 - 16 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition Tantalus Range
Fog, Rocks and Ice
1935 Nov. 22 - Dec. 8 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition The Lagoon Mouth, Nootka, V.I.
A Whiteman Sailor
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual Over the Sea
Morning on Nootka Sound
Driftwood
Drying Herring Roe
Russian Hermit's Cabin
Nootka Lighthouse
Black Tusk
Table Mountain, Garibaldi Park
1936 Sept. 18 - Oct. 11 VAG   B.C. Artists 5th Annual Heavy Weather on the West Coast
1937 April 16 - May 1 BCSFA   27th Annual Still Life
The Puppet
Morning on Nootka Sound
Old Steve's House, Friendly Cove
Swirling Water
Sunset Over the Sea
1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 6th Annual Pilgrimage
1938 April 29 - May 15 BCSFA   28th Annual Modality - Rain
Modality - Winter
Modality - Chrysanthemum
Modality - Daybreak
1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9 VAG   B.C. Artists 7th Annual Glacier Caves, Garibaldi Park, B.C.
Meadow Pool, Garibaldi Park, B.C.
Red Mountain, Garibaldi Park, B.C.
1939 June 9 - 25 BCSFA   29th Annual Tantalus Range from Garibaldi Park
Drying Herring Roe
Mimulus Lake, Garibaldi Park
Modalities: (a) Edge of the Sea
Modalities: (b) The Deep Sea
Modalities: (c) Flight
1939 Sept. 15 - Oct. 8 VAG   B.C. Artists 8th Annual Cactus
1940 May 17 - June 2 BCSFA   30th Annual Composition
1941 Sept. 26 - Oct. 19 VAG   B.C. Artists 10th Annual Mt. Hungable - near Lake O'Hara, B.C.
Mountain Form - Valley of the Ten Peaks, Alberta
1942 May 15 - 31 BCSFA   32nd Annual 8,000 Ft. Up
1942 July 7 - Sept. 2 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Summer Tantalus Range, Garibaldi Park
Glacier Caves, Garibaldi Park
1942 Nov. 3 - 15 FCA   Red Cross Benefit (no information available)
1943 May 15 - June 6 BCSFA   33rd Annual Modality - Spring Awakening
Modality - Fall
Mount Hubert, Lake O'Hara
1943 July 2 - Aug. 25 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Summer Modality- Fall
Modality - Spring Awakening
1943 Sept. 25 - Oct. 20 VAG   B.C. Artists 12th Annual Castle Towers, Garibaldi Park
Garibaldi Lake
1944 May 13 - June 4 BCSFA   34th Annual Mt. LeFroy, Lake O'Hara, B.C.
1944 July 4 - Aug. 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Summer Mt. LeFroy, Lake O'Hara
1944 Sept. 23 - Oct. 22 VAG   B.C. Artists 13th Annual Kelowna Landscape
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual Thunder Clouds over Okanagan Lake
Friendly Cove, Nootka, B.C.
1945 July 3 - Aug. 26 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Summer Victory Garden, Rutland, B.C.
Kelowna Landscape
1946 May 31 - June 23 BCSFA   36th Annual Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Number 4
Number 5
Number 6
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition Kelowna Landscape
1947 May 9 - June 1 BCSFA   37th Annual Arctic Vibrations
Fish and Birds
Under Tropical Seas
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Birds
Bird and Environment


References - BIBLIOGRAPHY

Refer to BIBLIO.

References - GROUP EXHIBITIONS

SOUVENIR CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITIONS OPENING
THE NEW VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
(refer to VAG51)

100 YEARS OF B.C. ART (refer to VAG58)

4th BURNABY NATIONAL PRINT SHOW (refer to BAG67)

CONTEMPORARIES OF EMILY CARR IN BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to SFU74)

PRINTMAKING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 1889-1983 (refer to AGGV83)

VANCOUVER: ART & ARTISTS 1931 - 1983 (refer to VAG83)

A MODERN LIFE: Art and Design in British Columbia 1945-1960 (refer to VAG04)

OUR CHANGING LANDSCAPE (2008) (refer to BAG08)

SHORE, FOREST AND BEYOND - ART FROM THE AUDAIN COLLECTION (refer to VAG11)

References - GENERAL

ART AS YOUR CAREER
    Canadian Institute of Associated Arts Prospectus, 1938

WHO'S WHO IN NORTHWEST ART (refer to WWNA41)

VANTECH 1946 - TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY
      Printed by the students of the Vancouver Technical School
      90 pages, stapled, illust. colour/b&w.
      Includes a number of original student linocut prints.
      Includes staff photograph with Macdonald, head of Design Workshop.

Heralding a New Group by J.W.G. Macdonald
      Canadian Art magazine, Vol. 5 No. 1, October-November 1947, p. 35-36; 2 illustrations

PERMANENT COLLECTION (refer to AGGV64)

THE FINE ARTS IN VANCOUVER, 1886 - 1930 (refer to THOM)

CREATIVE CANADA - VOLUME TWO, by University of Toronto Press
      1972; ISBN 0-8020-3285-0
      Includes 1-1/2 full columns of concise information about Macdonald.

CONTEMPORARY CANADIAN PAINTING by William Withrow
      1972, ISBN -07710-9029-3, publisher McClelland and Stewart Limited
      224 pages, hardcover, extensively illustrated
      Chapters on 24 artists, list of bibliographies and galleries
      Western artists include J.W.G. Macdonald, Jack Shadbolt

ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS -
EXHIBITIONS & MEMBERS 1880 - 1979
(refer to RCA81)

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS -
SPRING EXHIBITIONS 1880 - 1970
(refer to MM88)

A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)
      An extensive eight-page biography.

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      At least 25 references cited for Macdonald.

THE FECKLESS COLLECTION (refer to FECK18)

GREATER VANCOUVER ART GALLERIES 1954-2020 (refer to GVAG20)
     1 reference to Macdonald.

Clippings

"Many other well-known artists are represented, including ... J.W.G. MacDonald ... "
      From "Bargains in Art"
      Vancouver Sun, December 1, 1933

"F.H Varley, R.C.A., and J.W.G. Macdonald, directors of the B.C. College of Art, will take their pupils up 5,000 feet into this country which they declare has marvellous possibilities from an artist's point of view. Those who remember Mr. Macdonald's "Black Tusk" will agree that British Columbia will gain much when her artists can give to the world such canvases."
      From "In The Domain of Art"
      Vancouver Province, May 5 1934

"J.W.G. Macdonald's "8000 Feet Up" reveals an unexpected variation to his usual style. ..."
      From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts Display Sets New High Mark," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, May 16, 1942

"... J.W.G. Macdonald was elected president ..."
      From "B.C. Artists' Display To Calgary For Exhibition," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, May-June 1942

"Among those contibuting paintings and drawings are: ... J.W.G. Macdonald, ARCA ... "
      From "Noted Artists Offer Paintings For Red Cross"
      Vancouver Daily Province (presumed), November 1942

"Paintings by well known artists include ... J.W.G. Macdonald ... (continues)
      From "Summer Show at Gallery Major Event for Art Lovers," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, July 7, 1943

"J.W.G. Macdonald's impressive mountain landscape "Mount Lefroy" is very strong and convincing ... "
      From "Notable Exhibits of Artists' Work" by Mildred Valley Thornton
      Vancouver Sun (presumed), May 1944

"As a result of a ballot taken in respect of nominations previously secured by public announcement, three artist members, Mr. Lawren Harris, Mr. C.H. Scott, A.R.C.A., and J.W.G. Macdonald, headed the poll by large majorities."
     From "Re: 13th Annual B.C. Artists' Exhibition" by A.S. Grigsby.

"Another interesting art event scheduled over CBR will be a talk, on Monday January 29, by a noted Vancouver painter, J.W.G. Macdonald. The subject of the talk will be chiefly on the children's free Saturday morning classes at the gallery."
      From "Collection of Eastern Artist Features Art Gallery Display" by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, January 24 1945

"Gazing at J.W.G. Macdonald's painting "Bird and Environment," which had just arrived from Ontario ... "
      From "For and about WOMEN"
      Vancouver Daily Province, April 22, 1950


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