William McCance

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William McCance (1894–1970) was a Scottish artist, and was second Controller of the Gregynog Press in Powys, mid-Wales.


Born in 1894 in Cambuslang, Scotland, William McCance was the seventh of eight children. After attending the Hamilton Academy school, McCance entered Glasgow School of Art, studying there from 1911–15 and subsequently undertaking a teacher-training course at Glasgow's Kennedy Street school.

A conscientious objector in World War I, McCance was imprisoned.

After his discharge from prison in 1919, McCance and his illustrator/engraver wife, Agnes Miller Parker (1895-1980, married 1918), moved to London, where McCance was employed as a teacher and art critic, writing for The Spectator. McCance's paintings in the 1920s were unusual in that he was one of the few Scottish artists who embraced the cubist, abstract and machine-inspired arts movements that were to be spread across Europe following the First World War.[1][2]

In the 1930s McCance took up the post as the second Controller of the famous Gregynog Press, Wales,[3] founded in 1922, after which he was to teach book design at the University of Reading.

William McCance died in 1970.

A collection of his paintings is held in the National Galleries of Scotland and Dundee Art Gallery, and in 1975 a retrospective exhibition of his work was shown at Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh.[4][5]


  1. ^ The Herald newspaper, Glasgow, article Artist of the Machine Age – William McCance 27 May 1995 Retrieved 2011-06-20
  2. ^ Neil M. Gunn: Selected Letters, Editor J. B. Pick. Polygon, 1987. Page 14, bio on correspondent William McCance. Retrieved 2011-06-20
  3. ^ National Museums of Wales. Feature, the Gregynog Press Retrieved 2011-06-20
  4. ^ Gazetteer, famous people. William McCance Retrieved 2011-06-20
  5. ^ National Galleries of Scotland. Paintings by William McCance Retrieved 2011-06-20

External links[edit]

  • [1] Glasgow School of Art
  • [2] The Gregynog Press, Wales