Buchanan, Donald W. (Donald William)

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Buchanan, Donald W. (Donald William)

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Donald William Buchanan (1908-1966) was a Canadian author, art historian/critic and arts administrator. Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, he was the son of Senator W.A. Buchanan, publisher of the Lethbridge Herald. Donald Buchanan studied modern history at the University of Toronto and held a fellowship at Oxford University. In 1935, he founded the National Film Society of Canada (from 1950 The Canadian Film Institute). The following year, his biography of James Wilson Morrice was published in Toronto. Subsequently, he worked at the CBC (1937-40), Canadian Art Magazine (1942, as co-editor) and the National Film Board (1944-46), where he established the stills division. He was at the National Gallery of Canada from 1947 to 1960 and there founded the National Design Centre, eventually becoming Associate Director (1956-60) and afterward (1963) a trustee. In addition to the Morrice biography, Donald Buchanan wrote Educational and Cultural Films in Canada (1936), This Is Canada (1944), Canadian Painters from Paul Kane to the Group of Seven (1945), Design for Use (1947), The Growth of Canadian Painting (1950), Alfred Pellan (1962) and To Have Seen the Sky (1962). After leaving the National Gallery, he began a career as an artist/photographer; his work was exhibited successfully and appeared in published photo-essays. On his death in a car crash in Ottawa in 1966 his collection of artworks was bequeathed to the art gallery in Lethbridge.


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Created 5 February 2019.


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