The Canadian Art Database


Donald W. Buchanan

Donald W. Buchanan (1908-1966) was the eldest son of William and Alma Buchanan. Educated at the University of Toronto and at Oxford, he was not trained as an art historian but his critical mind and perceptive eye led him naturally in that direction. Buchanan went on to hold influential positions within nearly every cultural arena in Canada. He was employed by the CBC from 1937-40, following which he worked in Bermuda as a film editor for the Wartime Information Board. From 1944-46 he was with the National Film Board, where he established the stills division. At the National Gallery of Canada in 1947, he founded the Industrial Design Centre and, at the same time, served as co-editor for Canadian Art magazine. In 1950 he published The Growth of Canadian Painting, Canada's first contemporary art history text. Associate Director of the National Gallery from 1956-60, he returned in 1963 as a member of its board of trustees. In 1964 he was appointed Coordinator of Fine Arts and Cultural Activities for the world's fair in Montreal - Expo '67. He never saw the results of his work for he was accidentally killed by a van on an Ottawa bridge in 1966.

Selected Writings   
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 Buchanan, Donald W. "Pellan." Canadian Art XVII.1.January (1960)
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