George Mackie (1920–2020)

George Mackie is a lesser known illustrator. He is mostly remembered today for his book of Alexander Gray’s translations of Historical Ballads of Denmark (1958), where he co-illustrated the job with Edward Bawden.

Alexander Gray – Historical Ballads of Denmark (1958)

Mackie studied at Dundee College of Art from 1937–40, then after a break due to World War II he continued his education at Edinburgh College of Art from 1946–8. He worked as an inhouse graphic designer at Edinburgh University Press, allowing him to design dust jackets and title pages of their books. At this time he also was the head of design at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen. his work appearing in a number of graphic magazines such as Graphis. Mackie was born in Cupar, Fife.

He was married to the artist Barbara Balmer. Many of his works were very pretty ink drawings made to look like wood-engravings, much in the style of Eric Fraser. This week I got a book on Crathes Castle where he had illustrated the booklet to look like a stained glass window on the front, the back of it looks not unlike Rex Whistler

Crathes Castle design by George Mackie (1951).
Crathes Castle design by George Mackie (1951).
Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols (1932) – design by Rex Whistler.