Self-portrait in oils of artist David Donaldson (1916-1996), c 1971.
Born in Chryston, Donaldson showed promise in art at school in Coatbridge, and went to study at Glasgow School of Art in 1932. At art school he was regarded by some as a rebel, but earned recognition of his talent as a portrait painter in particular. He continued his association with the School of Art by teaching evening classes from 1938, becoming a full-time lecturer in 1944. As head of the Department of Drawing and Painting, 1967-1981, his encouragement of his students helped many of them to success in their own careers.
In 1941 Donaldson won the Royal Scottish Academy's Guthrie Award for a still-life of a toy donkey called Alfred. He painted murals for the Empire Exhibition and for a number of schools. He is best known as a portrait painter, some of his most successful portraits being of students in his classes. He was commissioned to paint portraits of several famous people, most notably Her Majesty the Queen, 1966, which hangs in the Throne Room in the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Donaldson was subsequently appointed Painter and Limner to Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland.
Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives
artists, Empire Exhibition, Glasgow School of Art, Guthrie Award, lecturers, limners, painters, Palace of Holyroodhouse, portraits, Royal Scottish Academy, self-portaits, teachers, Throne Room