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 Donald Shaw MacLaughlin  (1876 - 1938)

About: Donald Shaw MacLaughlin
 

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts / Canada      Known for: landscape and figure-genre painting, graphics

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Ad Code: 3
Donald Shaw MacLaughlin
from Auction House Records.
A Street in Granada, Spain
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Annex Galleries:
Earning much respect in the early 20th century in America for his sketching abilities,  Donald Shaw MacLaughlan was a Canadian, who was born and raised on a farm on Prince Edward Island.  In 1890, he moved to Boston with his family.  However, many of the works that gained him recognition were created when he lived and worked first in France and later in Italy. 

MacLaughlan first studied art in Boston under J. W. O. Hamilton. By 1898, however, he had settled in Paris to complete his education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Within a very short period of time MacLaughlan had established his reputation for etching.  In 1901 two of his etchings were accepted by the Salon de la Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and in 1903 he was elected an Associate of the Salon. Etchings created during this period, such as, Ruelle du Pecheur, had widespread influence on artists of many nationalities.  MacLaughlan even instructed other expatriate Canadian artists then living in Paris, most notably Clarence Gagnon and Frank and Caroline Armington.  From 1905 to 1914, he lived and worked at Asolo near Venice, Italy.

In 1929 James Laver wrote on MacLaughlan's art: "His is probably the most considerable single achievement of any son of the British Dominions Overseas.  It is only the completeness of his technical apparatus which makes his range as an etcher possible.  Every process of etching technique, every stage in the production of the finished work, is treated by him almost as part of a religious rite. ... Most modern etchers know how to print, very many of them do their own printing, but few perhaps bestow upon the process the care and labour expended by MacLaughlan.  Not content with the mere printing, he always grinds and prepares his ink himself, rightly claiming that some plates need a stiffer ink than others, that sometimes the appropriate tint is warmer, sometimes colder, and that it is only the etcher himself who can properly decide." (Laver)

"Gazette des Beaux Arts: The revival of etching as a prominent form of art first took place in France in the mid nineteenth century.  Sparked by the Paris etchings of Charles Meryon, French artists elevated etching to a creative process of art as vital as painting or sculpture.  Such an outburst of artistic energy in this field had not been seen since the days of Rembrandt and other seventeenth century Dutch master etchers."

"At the vanguard of this wave was the Paris based Gazette des Beaux Arts.  Beginning with its initial publication in 1859, the Gazette regularly commissioned the greatest etchers of the day to supply original graphic art for publication.  Nineteenth century editions included original etchings by Daubigny, Goya, Meryon, Whistler, Seymour Haden, Max Liebermann, Albert Besnard and others.  And from the beginning of the twentieth century until it ceased publication in 1930, such fine international artists as John Sloan and Donald Shaw MacLaughlan contributed works of art.  With artists such as these it's easy to understand why etchings from the Gazette have long been sought after." (Greg and Connie Peters; artoftheprint.com)

Sources include:

James Laver, A History of British and American Etching, London, Ernest Benn Limited, 1929, pp. 120 & 121)

Greg and Connie Peters; artoftheprint.com

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Donald MacLaughlin is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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