Max Gill (1884-1947) was an artist and designer of remarkable versatility. An illustrator, letterer, map-maker, architect, decorative artist and mural painter, he was perhaps most widely known in his lifetime for his pictorial maps and graphic designs for transport and communications companies in the first half of the twentieth century. The Faculty of Arts has been engaged in projects focusing on Max Gill since 2010.
In summer 2011, for the first time in many decades, a wide range of Max Gill's extraordinary works were brought together in a pioneering exhibition held at the University of Brighton Gallery. Hosted by the university's Faculty of Arts, it displayed decorative maps and other selected material. A rich and absorbing visual panorama, the exhibition provided a long overdue opportunity to rediscover and appreciate the work of a remarkable, influential and multi-talented artist, designer and architect of the first half of the twentieth century.
A one-day international symposium, drawing on a wide range of personal, professional and historical expertise in the field, was held at the university of Brighton on 22 July 2011, coinciding with the opening of the Out of the Shadows exhibition. This event enabled research and scholarly activity about Max Gill and his work to begin to be shared, promoted and encouraged. For further reading, this website has a very brief overview of Gill’s career as well as some of the papers delivered at the symposium. Work is being carried out towards a book on MacDonald Gill, which will encapsulate and build on some of the 2011 symposium research.
A blog account of the conservation and archive team member on this exhibition project, Sirpa Kutilainen, is available on the Design Archives pages and a digital resource, also hosted by the Design Archives, was built as a legacy of this major exhibition.
For further information about the Gill project, contact Philippa Lyon.