Mackay, D.C.

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Mackay, D.C.

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  • Mackay, Donald Cameron

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Dates of existence

1906-1979

History

D.C. (Donald Cameron) Mackay was born in 1906 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, son of William and Jane. The family moved to Nova Scotia in 1912 and Mackay began his education at Halifax Academy. After a brief period of study at Dalhousie University, Mackay entered the Nova Scotia College of Art, graduating in 1928. In 1929 he began graduate studies at the Chelsea School of Art in London, England, and took classes at the Académie Colorossi in Paris.

In 1930 MacKay moved to Toronto, Ontario. He worked as an illustrator while studying at the University of Toronto, then taught illustration and etching at the Northern Vocational School and at the Art Gallery of Toronto. In 1934 he was married to Mollie Bell and returned to Halifax, where he began work as an instructor and later served as vice-principal at the Nova Scotia College of Art. He also held an appointment as special lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at Dalhousie.

Mackay joined the Canadian Navy at the beginning of World War Two, and in 1943 he was appointed an Official War Artist. He retired from service in 1945 and returned to the Nova Scotia College of Art as principal, also taking up his lecturing position at Dalhousie. After the death of his wife, Mollie, he was remarried in 1966 to Margaret MacNeil, with whom he had one daughter, Margot. Mackay remained principal of the Nova Scotia College of Art until his retirement in 1971. He was the illustrator and co-author, with Harry Pier, of Master goldsmiths and silversmiths of Nova Scotia and their marks (1948) and Silversmiths and related craftsmen of the Atlantic provinces (1973). Mackay illustrated many other books and periodicals, especially those related to Canadian history. He died in 1979.

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