donald bros ltd part 2

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since last writing about donald bros ltd in 2016, i’ve kept them in the back of my mind and  consequently, i’ve compiled a catalogue of information sources relating to the company that I’ve found on the net.

  • Edinburgh College of Art PhD Thesis written in 1997 by Helen Douglas. Available in full using above link.
Records of Donald Brothers Ltd, linen, canvas and furnishing fabric manufacturers, Dundee, Scotland
  • Records held by Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections
Heriot Watt University Heritage and Information Governance Service Textile Collection: Donald Brothers 
  • The collection, held at the Scottish Borders campus in Galashiels includes a large range of pattern books and fabric samples.
this house for building/this building for hope
  • A piece by Jenny Steele about Marion Dorn’s textile design including her work for Donald Brothers
  • My collection of Donald Bros images, some original, most from the net.

Looking forward very much to seeing and learning more given that the work of Donald Brothers will be among the exhibits in the Scottish Design galleries of the soon to open V and A Dundee.

vera molnar exhibition in new york


Vera Molnar Structure de Quadrilatères (Square Structures), 1985 ink on paper 30 x 42 cm

Vera Molnar, regarded as a pioneer in computer art was born in Budapest in 1924.  She relocated to Paris in the 1940s and became a founding member of the Research Group for Visual Art (GRAV) in 1960.  Her work as an artist encompasses painting, drawing and collage, computer drawings, photography, and installation.  Aged 94, Molnar continues to practice.

The exhibition Vera Molnar: Drawings 1949-1986 is currently showing at the Senior and Shopmaker Gallery in Chelsea, NYC.  I’d so much like to see this, not to mention visit NYC again.

there’s an e-catalogue available here

and an article about the show and the artist in hyperallergic here

a short biography of the artist here

also, a wonderful video about GRAV at the Paris Biennale in 1963 here

watch it, you’ll love it!

my josef albers album art quest

There’s always a budget restriction when I’m collecting. It’s out of necessity. But I think it would make collecting very dull if all you had to do was search on the net and buy the thing you’re looking for at any price. So my budget dictates £5 maximum per album cover and shipping must be pretty cheap.

Albers designed seven album covers for the US label Command Records between 1959 and 1961. Command Records’ album cover designs stood out from the crowd not only because of their ‘highly modern, boldly graphic, abstract’ (1) designs.  In addition, the label’s founder Enoch Light liked to provide extensive information about the music on his albums, necessitating additional print space on the covers and thereby giving birth to the gatefold sleeve.

I’ve managed to collect four of these so far.


Click on the above link to read a neat little piece about Command Records, Enoch Light and Josef Albers.

donald bros ltd, dundee

The Donald Brothers textiles company operated in Dundee, Scotland between 1864 and 1983. Growing out of the jute industry, the operation moved from its manufacture of cloth for sails and sacks into the manufacture of decorative cloth in the late 1890s.

More about the Donald Brothers in future posts but for starters, here’s a design by one of their staff members Marjory Young, later Marjory Moffat.

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Marjory Young worked for Donald Brothers as their in-house designer between 1948 and 1953, employed straight from Dundee art college until her marriage. Whilst there, she produced many textile designs for the company’s brand, Old Glamis Fabrics.

Hospitalfield Arts Centre in Arbroath recently ran a study day on artists, designers and craftspeople with an interest in textiles and a connection to the Tayside area.

Present throughout the day was Marjory Young’s daughter Issy Valentine who brought with her a portfolio of her mother’s designs and also a selection of fabric samples produced by Donald Bros. It was a fantastic opportunity to see and touch examples of work that came out of a very interesting and innovative textile company that seems not to be as well known as companies such as Edinburgh Weavers or David Whitehead, for example. The company’s use of highly acclaimed and well known designers such as Marion Dorn, Robert Stewart and Marian Mahler makes their limited visibility in accounts of 20th century textile design a bit puzzling. Perhaps it has something to do with the company’s relatively remote location in North East Scotland (even though Donald Bros had a London office in close proximity to Liberty’s)?