Margaret Oliver Brown

Scotland / 1912 - 1990
Margaret Oliver Brown was a fashion illustrator, and commercial artist for local newspapers. Based in Glasgow, she attended classes at the Glasgow School of Art between 1927 and 1941. She worked as Advertising Manager of Arnotts department store from 1930 until her marriage to the teacher William Oliver Brown, a leading figure in the Scottish nationalist movement, in 1936. Brown exhibited alongside the Scottish Colourists, but enjoyed only a brief career because of the early onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Margaret Oliver Brown (née MacDonald) (20 Sept. 1912 – 17 Nov. 1990); Scottish painter and illustrator. She worked as a commercial artist before studying painting at Glasgow School of Art (1937–41). She was a founder member of the New Scottish Group.

...In 1927 Brown started attending classes at the Publicity Club of Glasgow and gained certificates on Elementary Advertising. She also took an apprenticeship with a printing firm. She worked as Advertising Manager at Arnotts Department Store (Glasgow) from 1930 until 1936.

She was a founder member of the New Art Club, which was established in 1940 and renamed the New Scottish Group in 1942. She was a particular friend of other members Louise Annand, Millie Frood, Margaret Morris, Jankel Adler, Josef Herman and George Hannah. Throughout the 1940s she exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Glasgow Institute and the Society of Independent Scottish Artists, as well as with the New Scottish Group.

In 1949 Brown developed severe rheumatoid arthritis, cutting short her career as a painter. However, she was able to continue as a successful freelance illustrator during the 1950s and '60s. During this time she had a column in the Glasgow Evening Times called 'MOBservations' and also produced satirical political illustrations for her husband's political pamphlets.
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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