Through his long career as an art instructor, as well as his own
water colours, Murray MacDonald made a significant contribution to
the arts in Alberta.
Born in Cape Breton, MacDonald moved west in 1927 to teach in
the Edmonton Public School system, instructing technical high
school art. Four years later, he became Principal of the University
of Alberta demonstration school. In 1949, he was appointed
Supervisor of Art for Edmonton schools. He studied Painting and
Design at the University of Washington, then after retirement from
the School Board taught at the University of Alberta and the Banff
School of Fine Arts. He also taught art and lectured at the
Edmonton Museum of Art (later the Edmonton Art Gallery), wrote arts
reviews for the Edmonton Journal, and organized painting classes in
rural areas of the province.
He was a Life Member of the Alberta Society of Artists and also
a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Color, the
International Society for Education Through Art and the Edmonton
Art Club, for which he helped write the constitution. In the
1970's, he was presented with the Performing and Creative Arts
Award, Visual Arts, from the city of Edmonton for his "outstanding
contributions to the cultural life of Edmonton." MacDonald's
singular role in art education was recognized by the University of
alberta with an honorary doctorate in 1978 and an Alberta
government Achievement Award in 1979.
In his own artwork, MacDonald specialized in water colours. In
the Alberta Society of Artists Winter Open show 1963, his painting,
"Muskeg in the Moonlight", was described as "a solid composition
full of sombre lyricism inspired by the nocturnal poetry of the
prairies." MacDonald,s paintings were exhibited in several Canadian
and American cities and are included in the collections of the
Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Massey Collection,
This artist does not have any artworks currently listed.