Donald A. Mackay

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Not to be confused with Donald Makay, Canadian artist.

Donald Alexander Mackay (August 13, 1914–Dec 17, 2005) was an American artist and illustrator. His illustrations appeared in Time, LIFE, The New Times[disambiguation needed], Newsweek, National Geographic, and other publications. He is best known for drawing the evolution of Manhattan. Mackay crowned a long career in 1987 with the book The Building of Manhattan (Harper & Row). It was a meticulous evocation, in text and drawings and in great detail, of how Manhattan was built from the ground up.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mackay attended the Massachusetts College of Art. He got a designer's job in the plastics division of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company but was laid off during the Depression. Serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, after a year's studies in Biarritz, France, he went to work for an art studio in Greenwich Village. He went to Mexico to study graphics with Alfredo Zalce; later he also studied lithography and etching at Pratt Institute.

Mackay was a commercial artist in the 1950s. He also worked as a freelancer, contributing drawings to a number of publications and illustrating children's books. His own artwork included a series on space flight, nature subjects and illustrations of the White House and the Metropolitan Opera House.

Mackay died in Frederick, Maryland in 2005. He had previously lived in Ossining, New York.

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