Featuring works rediscovered after 60 years, this exhibition celebrates the illustrator and decorative artist MacDonald (Max) Gill (1884-1947).
Max Gill, younger brother of Eric, was a well-known illustrator, letterer, map-maker, architect and decorative artist. His often humorous work, with its distinctive Art Deco flourishes and tones, charted the rise of new technologies such as electricity, flight and radio communication.
Gill’s work was once prominently in the public eye, particularly his brightly-coloured pictorial maps, graphic designs for book covers, and posters for transport and communications companies in the first half of the 20th century. His best-known piece, the large 1914 Wonderground Map, was hung at every London Underground station, and in 1918 he was appointed by the Imperial War Graves Commission to design the lettering used on the Cenotaph and every military headstone since WWI.
Long after Gill’s death, a major collection of his work was discovered in the Sussex cottage that had once been his home, revealing many pieces of work that had not been seen for over 60 years. Rolled up, carefully packed away and labeled by his wife Priscilla Johnston, the works were uncovered by her nephew Andrew (grandson of London Underground typeface designer Edward Johnston) when he inherited the cottage.