Photographs and Monumental Inscriptions from Burial Grounds, Cemeteries & Churchyards in Central Scotland.
Friday, 15 August 2014
John Milne Donald
Scottish Landscape Painter
Portrait by James S. Stewart
John Milne Donald was born in Nairn, Scotland.
His birth doesn’t appear to have been registered, so
it may have been anytime from 1816 to 1821. He is believed to have been the son
of Thomas Donald and Ann Milne who married on 24th March 1818 in the
Parish of St. Nicholas, Aberdeen.
Little is known of his early life but his marriage can
be found on the IGI
(familysearch.org) at Glasgow on 4th March 1849
(Mary’s surname is listed as ‘Bradie’)
They are found on the 1851 Census with their baby
Mary’s widowed mother and her sisters were living at
the same address -
11 Killermont Street, (Barony Parish), Glasgow as follows:
Helen Bredie, Head, Widow (of Manufacturer), age 71,
Janet Bredie, Daughter, age 31, Shopwoman, born Glasgow
Ebenezer Paterson, Grandson, age 14, Bookbinder
Apprentice, born Glasgow
John Milne Donald, Head, age 30, Artist (Master), born
Mary Donald (nee Bredie), Daughter, age 28, born Glasgow
Ellen Donald, Grandchild, age 1 month, born Glasgow
Note that his age is stated as 30, which
would make his year of birth 1821
and he is also listed as ‘Head’ of the
household, so perhaps the two families
lived next door to one another.
On the Kelvin, 1858
By 1861 John and his family were living in the village
of Rhu (or Row), on the east
side of Gare Loch in the County of Dunbartonshire.
The 1861 Census shows that their family had grown:
John Milne Donald, Head, age 41, Landscape Painter,
Mary Donald, Wife, age 37, born Glasgow
Ellen Donald, Daughter, age 10, Scholar, born Glasgow
Annie Donald, Daughter, age 9, Scholar, born Glasgow
Thomas W. Donald, Son, age 8, Scholar, born Glasgow
Note that his age is stated as 41, which
would make his year of birth 1820.
The head of Loch
Lomond looking to Ben Vorlich, 1860
Picnic by the lake, 1863
Mary Donald, John’s wife died on the 23rd
September 1865 at
West Princes Street, Helensburgh aged 46.
Her Death Certificate states that she was the daughter
William Bredie, Merchant and Helen Bredie nee Dawson.
Her cause of death was Tubercular Disease of the Lungs
The following year on the 14th July 1866
John died aged 48
at Gartnavel Royal Lunatic Asylum, Partick.
His cause of death is listed as Epilepsy.
The informant of his death was an Asylum Attendant who
gave John’s parents as
Alexander Donald, Writer and Annie Donald nee Forbes.
(Where these names came from no-one will
John, his wife Mary and son Tom William Donald are
The Inscription reads:
This stone is placed over the grave of
JOHN MILNE DONALD, Landscape Painter
By a few attached friends and admirers of his genius.
Born at Nairn in 1817, died at Glasgow 1st July 1866
MARY BREDIE his wife died 23rd September
1865 aged 46 years
Also TOM WILLIAM DONALD, Artist, his only son
Died 31st January 1883 aged 29 years
wrong date of death for John)
John’s eldest daughter Ellen (or Helen) married
William Smith, an accountant
Renfrew Street, Glasgow
on 14th June 1869
She died at Kilcreggan on 12th June 1885
aged 35 and is buried with
The new ArtSchool when completed
will have, along Renfrew Street,
a total length of 248 feet and a depth of 77 feet. The existing eastern section
is 55 feet in height, but the roof is to be removed and an attic storey added,
giving a uniform height over the whole extent of the building of 72 feet. The
frontage to Renfrew Street
is a continuation of the design of the eastern section, but the western
elevation to Scott Street
will form a special feature.
At the south-west corner of the building on the second
floor the library is situated. Here the building rises to a height of 100 feet,
and the wall will be broken by the library windows, 20 feet in height, between
which will be placed a series of emblematic figures representing art,
sculpture, architecture and music. The basement floor of the building is set
apart for the modelling school and a series of technical studios for metal
workers, wood carvers and enamellers, bookbinders, house decorators, etc., and
there is a sub-basement in which there are rooms for stone carvers, pointers
and casters. The modelling school measures 120 feet by 48, and has elementary,
advanced, and life classrooms. Altogether on the basement floor there is accommodation
for about 200 students. The life modelling room is lighted from the roof and is
30 feet in height, an all-important matter in connection with colossal
statuary, as the largest piece of sculpture may be worked inside and a number
of students employed upon it. On the basement floor there is also a lecture
theatre, seated for 150 students, with an independent entrance from Scott Street.
On the ground floor are situated the still life and
architectural schools. The ornament and still life classes occupy the
corresponding floor of the eastern section, and this portion of the new
section, which will accommodate about 200 students, will be set apart for the
Passing to the first floor, there will be here also a
rearrangement of classes. The eastern section, when the building is completed,
will be given over entirely in the antique school and in the new or western section
will be the life school of design, a large and finely lit museum, a school
library and the headmaster’s private room and studio. The life school measures
120 feet by 35 feet, with a height of 28 feet and it will accommodate about 150
students. It is splendidly lighted from the front and it has also roof-lights,
the second or attic-floor being recessed about 10 feet to permit of this
The library is a handsome apartment, 35 feet square
and 23 feet high. The bookcases are so placed that there will be recesses all
round the room giving ample opportunities for private study. Adjoining the
library is the librarian’s room.
The second or attic-floor will be appointed entirely
for studios. In the new section there will be five private studios for
professors, while in the old section over the existing building there will be
nine studios for advanced students or for artists visiting the city.
Hitherto there has been a lack of facilities for
artists from a distance who might desire the use of a studio temporarily to do
some special piece of work and the arrangement to be made in the school of art,
when it reaches completion, will be a great convenience to such visitors.
Class rooms for flower painting and composition will
likewise be provided on this floor immediately over the library; and connected
with these rooms will be a conservatory with light from the south-east.
The Growth of the School
(from a correspondent)
Sixty-seven years ago, in the upper rooms of a house
in Ingram Street
– at the foot of Montrose Street
– diverted for the time from its purpose as business premises into a medium for
the study of other art of peace, the Glasgow School of Art started its career.
And there are not a few among the older citizens of Glasgow and the
neighbourhood, who can still recall with a sense, somewhat of physical
discomfort, the cheerless wintry mornings that saw them wondering their
anti-auroral way to receive those lessons in drawing which, though rigorous and
circumscribed in dexterity, were yet in certain instances to prove of fruitful
issue to the recipients, and in all cases to serve as an incentive to further
progress and to higher and more purely artistic attainments.
For from this humble beginning, in these chilling, yet
courageous circumstances, the Glasgow School of Art has grown in power and
broadened in development, until the stately but utilitarian building pictures
the present ideal which those charges with the care of art education in the
Western Metropolis have decided to complete, in order to satisfy the demands of
a school whose pupils are as numerous and as earnest of any art institution in
the three kingdoms, and whose work is receiving recognition that begins in
Glasgow, but extends among the majority of civilised communities. The strength
of the school has growm with the recognition of art as a vital factor in the
commercial and social life of the city. It was the foresight of a few of the
leading citizens of Glasgow, interested in art education, that gave the
institution its birth; just as a small body of equally intelligent civic
fathers saw in the MacLellan collection of pictures the nucleus of the present
famous gallery of paintings, and as the municipality has just crowned their art
collections by building in Kelvingrove Park a palace fit to contain such
treasures, so have the citizens and the State combined to erect an institution
wherein the sons and daughters of the citizens of Glasgow may receive an art
education rendering them capable in the present of appreciating art, whether
pictured, carved, or manufactured, and possibly give to certain of their number
that cunning of hand that may either enable them to add their picture or their
sculpture to the galleries, or widen that knowledge of design and application
that shall enrich the product of the factory and of the workshop.
Certain it is that it is long since that Glasgow relied upon any hands other than those of her own
artists to place her among the art centres of the world and just as surely it
is that designers working in Glasgow
are capable of more than holding their own among the demands made by the
In the education alike of painter, designer, and
craftsman the Glasgow School of Art has played an important part, and the
governors, fully alive alike to the needs of the hour and the question of
future developments, have met the responsibility committed to their charge with
commendable fullness of thought and action. Their untiring efforts to make the
school in every way a success has been munificently acknowledged by the State,
acting through the Scottish Education Department, and as equally responded to
by the municipality and by the growing circle of warm-hearted friends
interested in the work and development of the school.
The building, whether studied internally or viewed
from the outside, may be said to be, in more senses than one, the latest
development in architectural thought, but when all is said and done there is
little doubt that as a workshop it thoroughly meets all demands, and the six
years that have been spent in the portion now standing have found out few
faults in the outer structure or in the inner arrangements. So much is this the
case that the new half is virtually to be a repeat of that now standing.
Certain changes in external treatment appear, but the
spacious, well-lighted rooms that now exist are to be repeated, and the whole
building when completed will be another noteworthy addition to the wealth of
architectural art in Glasgow.
The design is from the firm of Honeyman, Keppie and
Mackintosh, the work being carried out under the personal supervision of Mr.
Mackintosh. And it may be perhaps a practical testimony to the character of the
education given that Mr. Mackintosh is an artist who received his early
training in the school, and who by this, his latest work, adds to his
reputation as an architect and gives an added lustre to his Alma Mater.
Living and working in the school as a pupil, and
having a knowledge at first hand of the requirements of an art school, Mr.
Mackintosh has conceived these requirements as from the inside out-wards, and
he has embodied his knowledge and experience in a building that sums up the
necessities of the art education of today in a spirit that testifies to the
beautiful in the essential. www.memento-mori.co.uk