‘Moira Macgregor – A Life in Style’
Published On Tue 19 Jun 2018 by Grant Hill
A new exhibition of work by the celebrated Dundee-born fashion illustrator Moira Macgregor will be unveiled at the University of Dundee next week.
The artworks that feature in ‘A Life in Style’ were recently donated to the University by the late artist’s family, in accordance with the wishes of Moira, who died in 2016. The exhibition will open at the Tower Foyer Gallery on Friday 22 June.
Moira was born in Dundee in 1931 and studied under Alberto Morrocco at Dundee College of Art (now the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design) before building an international career as a fashion illustrator, editor and painter.
Highlights in the show include one of Moira’s diploma works from her student days, designs for a Biba catalogue and Honey magazine’s Capable Kate, sketchbooks, work for Crabtree & Evelyn, and rarely seen still lifes from her later period.
Curator Liz Louis said, “The generous donation of Moira Macgregor’s work has allowed us to give her work the exposure it deserves. Her range is impressive. In particular, her fashion illustrations are incredibly evocative of the ‘Swinging London’ of the 1960s and 1970s.”
Moira’s work is characterised by her skilful draughtsmanship and a close attention to detail. After graduating in 1954, she was awarded a travelling scholarship to Rome and briefly worked for C&A in the Netherlands before moving to London, where she became friends with Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki. In the 1960s and 70s, she worked as illustrator and editor for lifestyle columns in The Observer, Woman’s Own, Nova and Glamour magazines among others.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, Macgregor’s focus shifted to highly realistic illustrations for advertising, book publishing and packaging. At the same time, she was also creating far more abstract paintings and prints, many of which were exhibited at the Royal Academy summer exhibitions.
The exhibition will be formally opened by Moira’s husband, the renowned graphic designer John McConnell, and daughter Kate McConnell in the Tower Foyer Gallery at 5.30pm on Friday 22 June. It will run until late September and is open from 9.30am-7pm on weekdays and 1-5pm each Saturday.
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