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R. McGill Mackall

1889-1982

Mackall, a muralist, was born in Baltimore. He attended the Maryland Institute (now the Maryland Institute College of Art), and the Art Students League in New York before traveling abroad to further his artistic education at the Royal Institute of Art in Munich, and in Paris.

After serving in the Army during World War I, Mackall returned to Baltimore, where he became one of the city’s most renowned artists. He taught at the Maryland Institute, eventually becoming head of the department of fine arts. He also founded the art department at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Mackall painted fifty-three large public murals in Baltimore, as well as hundreds of official portraits of public figures, easel paintings, and watercolors. His murals include representations of Lord Calvert’s landing for the Baltimore Trust Building, the birth of the National Anthem for Fort McHenry National Park, and Maryland’s heroes for the Baltimore War Memorial in City Hall Plaza. While he was best known for this work, Mackall also produced designs for stained glass windows and works which reflect the influence of French impressionism and of Richard Miller, his American instructor at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. Mackall’s paintings were featured in a monographic exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1932. Among his more famous stained glass installations are those in Christ Church, Baltimore, featuring the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, and Christ's first miracles.

The Mackall Foundation was created in 1993 to save as many of the artist's murals as possible at a time when many of the buildings that housed them were being torn down or renovated.

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