Macdonald Gill was well known and respected in his day and was reputed for his highly detailed pictorial maps which all have a strong sense of Englishness about them which reflect their time and, like his brothers work, a certain sense of national identity, just look at the map above which places Great Britain at the heart of the world, it reminds me of medieval maps of the known world which did exactly the same thing with Jerusalem!
|Detail from the Wonderground Map of Londontown|
What looks like a highlight of the exhibition will be Macdonald Gills' Wonderground Map of Londontown. This was printed in 1914 for Westminster Press and shows an intricate and beautiful look at London and its Underground stations. The illustration style, colours and lettering evoke an almost Arts and Crafts take on London. The original was printed as 16 sheets (roughly A4) and sold in it's thousands for six shillings, I hope they do a modern reprint as I don't think I could track down never mind buy an original!
here. There is also a fascinating blog on the restoration of Macdonald Gills' work by Sirpa Kutilainen.
To continue the Gill trip then pop into The British Museum to see Eric Gill; Public and Private Art. This exhibition looks at pieces of art created by Gill for Public commissions and for his own private pleasure. As the museum says itself 'The exhibition features work by Gill intended for both public use and private delight, including stamp designs for the Post Office, coin designs for the Royal Mint, drawings for the Stations of the Cross, and his own engravings and publications on religion, politics and art. The centrepiece of the display is his famous sculpture Divine Lovers, on loan from Ditchling Museum in East Sussex. The display also examines Gill’s work on the British Museum building itself, including the war memorial at the main entrance.' The exhibition runs until 9 August and is FREE!
And just for good measure here's a reminder of Gills most famous creation Gill Sans, originally created for a book shop in Bristol and then developed as a full typeface for LNER rail travel posters.