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Macdonald, Grant Kenneth
John Gielgud as Nicholas in Dear Octopus John Gielgud as Nicholas in Dear Octopus
unknown date unknown date

The Art Centre has an extensive collection of work by Grant Macdonald who spent the latter part of his life in Kingston, but built his reputation as a painter of theatre portraits in London, New York and Stratford, Ontario. Macdonald had a remarkable ability to depict actors as the characters they portrayed on the stage.

Grant Macdonald was born in Montreal and raised in Galt, Ontario. He studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, and the Art Students’ League, New York. During the 1930s and 1940s, he developed a career in New York and London as a delineator of the great stage actors of the period for play posters and reviews. During WWII he was commissioned as a war artist with the RCNVR. He returned to Canada following the war, settling in Kingston. In 1953 Macdonald was commissioned by the Globe and Mail to record the first season of the Stratford Festival through portraits of the actors in full costume and he continued doing so every season until 1963, providing a valuable visual record of these early years. In addition, he developed a local practice in portraiture.

 
Macdonald, Grant Kenneth
Montreal QC 1909–Kingston ON 1987 Montreal QC 1909–Kingston ON 1987
John Gielgud as Nicholas in Dear Octopus John Gielgud as Nicholas in Dear Octopus
unknown date unknown date
black crayon on linen paper black crayon on linen paper
height / width: 38.40 x 28.70 cm; 15.12 x 11.30 in.
Gift of the McLean Foundation, 1990 Gift of the McLean Foundation, 1990
33-006.248

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