David McClure was a highly regarded and widely collected painter whose work is to be found in a great many private and public collections throughout the United Kingdom and beyond. His paintings are celebratory of both life and nature, often informed with a wide knowledge of the history of the visual arts, literature and music. His work covers still life, landscape, interiors and the nude. He drew superbly and was a sumptuous and adventurous colourist in a well-acknowledged Scottish tradition who reveled in the art and craft of picture making.
He was one of a group of superbly talented artists who graduated in the early 1950s from Edinburgh College of Art where his contemporaries included Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston and David Michie. Edinburgh students of the time benefited from the exposure to the paintings or teaching of the major Edinburgh School painters including Anne Redpath, William Gillies, John Maxwell, William MacTaggart, and Robert Henderson Blyth. Through these more immediate influences McClure was also moved to explore in particular the work of the Post-Impressionists, Gauguin, Matisse, Chagall and Redon and find his own voice.
In his earlier career he spent significant periods working in Spain, Italy, Sicily and Norway and taught at Dundee College of Art from 1957-85 retiring as Head of Painting, a post he took over from his great friend and colleague Alberto Morrocco.
1926 Born in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, son of a Scottish furniture designer and a Welsh school teacher.
Educated at Queen’s Park School, Glasgow.
1943-44 Glasgow University
War Service as Bevin Boy in the coal mines of Scotland.
1947-49 Fine Art Degree Course then jointly run between Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art
combining Drawing and Painting with Art History.
1949-52 Edinburgh College of Art. Switched to Painting Diploma Course to paint full time.
1950 Married in Glasgow to Joyce Flanigan.
1951 Elected member of SSA.
1952-53 Travelling Scholarship to Spain and Italy.
1953-55 Taught part time at Edinburgh College of Art.
1955 Birth of first son Robin.
1955-57 Andrew Grant Fellowship. (Travelling and Painting in Scotland, Florence and Sicily with wife and son).
1957 Painted ceiling decorations and murals for the reconstructed King’s Room at Falkland Palace, Fife.
1957-83 Lecturer in Drawing and Painting, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art,
Dundee under Alberto Morrocco.
1958 Birth of daughter Paola.
1959 Birth of second son Kevin.
1963 Elected ARSA.
At the invitation of the Norwegian Cultural Department spent three months living and painting with his family in the outskirts of Oslo.
1965 Elected member of the RSW.
1967-69 President of the SSA.
1971 Elected full member of the RSA.
Painted mural for St. Andrew’s University.
1976 Monograph on John Maxwell published for Edinburgh University Press.
1983-85 Head of Painting, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee.
1985 Retired from teaching to paint full- time.
1988 Death of wife Joyce.
1990 Elected member of the RGI.
1998 Died in Dundee on his 72nd birthday.
1957 Circola di Cultura, Palermo, Sicily
1957 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1961 The Saltire Society, Edinburgh
1962 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1965 University of Birmingham
1967 Loomshop Gallery, Lower Largo, Fife
1969 The Scottish Gallery (Edinburgh Festival Exhibition)
1970 Bondgate Gallery, Alnwick
1975 Loomshop Gallery, Lower Largo, Fife
1977 Haddington House, Haddington
1978 Thackeray Gallery, London
1982 The Macaulay Gallery, Stenton (Edinburgh Festival Exhibition)
1983 Fairmaid’s House Perth
1984 Dunkeld Festival of Arts
1986 Thackeray Gallery, London
1988 Fine Art Society, Edinburgh and Glasgow (40 Years Retrospective)
1989 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1991 Thackeray Gallery London
1992 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1993 Thackeray Gallery, London
1994 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1996 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (70th Birthday Exhibition)
Posthumous Solo Exhibitions
2000 Memorial Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
2003 Oils and Works on Paper, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
2012 David McClure, Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh
2014 The Art of Picture Making, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
2014 Island Aspects: Paintings and Drawings 1952-63, Cyril Gerber Fine Art, Glasgow
2015 Works from the Estate of David McClure, Panter and Hall, London
2015 Small Works on Paper, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
Selected Group Exhibitions
1952 Young European Painters, Edinburgh
1961 Contemporary Scottish Paintings- Toronto, Canada
1963 14 Scottish Painters, Arts Council Exhibition at Commonwealth Institute, London and Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, 1964
1964 Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Dr Peter Davis, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,
1965 Contemporary Scottish Painters, Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea
1967 Younger Scottish Contemporaries, Scottish Television, Edinburgh
1975 Edinburgh Ten 30, Scottish Arts Council/Welsh Arts Council Exhibition at the Royal Cambrian Academy,
Conway (then to Llanelli and Cwmbran)
1991 Still Life in The Scottish Gallery and Sea and Shore, both The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1992 Scottish Artists & Spain and 150th Anniversary Exhibition, both The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1993 The Edinburgh School, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition
1994 Viva L’Italia, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
Regular exhibitor at annual exhibitions at RSA, RSW and RGI and at Summer and Christmas Exhibitions of The Scottish Gallery
Casa Nostra, by Marziale, December 1956, p.56
David McClure Paintings at The Scottish Gallery, The Scotsman, 4.11.57
Young Artist’s Exhibition, The Glasgow Herald, 2.11.57
Childhood’s Visions Portrayed, The Glasgow Herald, 29.10.62
Child’s- Eye View, The Scotsman, 29.10.62
Dream World, Dundee Courier & Advertiser, 27.10.62
The Paintings of David McClure, The Evening News, 29.10.62
Studio, T Elder Dickson, February 1963.p 85
David McClure- Paintings, The Scottish Gallery exhibition catalogue, introduction by George Mackie, 1969
The Eye in the Wind- Scottish Painting since 1945, Edward Gage, Pub. Collins 1977 pp.43, 44, 46
Scottish Watercolour Painting, Jack Firth, Pub. The Ramsey Head Press, pp.27, 46, 71-72
A Defiance of Sorrow, The Observer Scotland, 4.6.89
Artist who delights in painting pleasurably, Edward Gage, The Scotsman, 6.6.89
It’s been a long hard road to Morrocco and McClure, W Gordon Smith, Observer Scotland4.6.89 (What a terrible headline!)
David McClure, The Scottish Gallery, William Ferguson, Times Educational Supplement, June 1989
Scottish Art 1460-2000, Duncan Macmillan, Pub. Mainstream, 1990,2000.pp.330, 369,394
David McClure- Recent Paintings, The Scottish Gallery exhibition catalogue, introduction by Peter Regent, 1992
Lasting Impressions, Edward Gage, The Scotsman, 19.10.92
Scottish Art in the 20th Century, Duncan Macmillan, Pub. Mainstream, 1994, pp.108, 109,113
David McClure- New Paintings, The Scottish Gallery exhibition catalogue, introduction by John Morrison, 1994
David McClure, The Scottish Gallery Exhibition, W. Gordon Smith, Scotland on Sunday, 20.11.94
Decorator with overall flair in his chosen school, Edward Gage, The Scotsman, 21.11.94 (Another awful, punning headline!)
Obituaries – The Scotsman, The Herald and The Dundee Courier, Feb. 1998
Scotland’s Art, Duncan Macmillan, Pub. City of Edinburgh Museums and Art Galleries 1999, p.99
David McClure, The Scottish Gallery Memorial Exhibition – catalogue with introduction by Robin McClure and Guy Peploe, 2000
The Art of Picture Making, The Scottish Gallery Exhibition catalogue with essay and picture notes by Robin McClure
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Argyll Education Committee
University of Dundee
Dundee Art Gallery
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh City Art Centre
RSA Thorburn Ross Collection
University of St Andrews
Glasgow Art Gallery
Perth Art Gallery
Paisley Museum and Art Gallery
The Fleming - Wyfold Art Foundation
Shell Petroleum Company
Bank of Scotland
Edinburgh Fund Managers
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
University of Birmingham
Works in numerous Private Collections including USA, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, France, Turkey, Norway, Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom.
54 works in Public Collections available to view at Art UK.
1972 R. Henderson Blyth Memorial Exhibition, catalogue introduction, Aberdeen Art Gallery.
1976 John Maxwell – a monograph of the artist’s life and work published by Edinburgh University Press
1990 Alberto Morrocco – Paintings from the Artist’s Studio, catalogue introduction, The Scottish Gallery.
1996 Introduction to The Mackenzie Sisters by Alwyn Jones, Black Ace Press.