Keeper, (1906 - 1911)
Having originally studied for the church, MacColl became interested in art after meeting artists and writers living near his home in Kensington.
He eventually abandoned his theological studies to teach art history and went on to work as a critic for the influential Saturday Review.
He was perhaps an unlikely choice for Keeper of a national collection in that he had become renowned for his fierce attacks on the art establishment, not
only criticizing the Royal Academy but also Henry Tate's Collection and the pictures of the Chantrey Bequest, which had become part of the Tate's Collection.
However his astute scholarly mind and willingness to stand up for his beliefs made him invaluable to the Tate in its early years.
He strengthened the Collection on many fronts: re-hanging the Galleries to show the existing Collection at its best, strengthening the holdings of
Pre-Raphaelite work and drawing up a list of desirable additions to the Collection including works by Wilson Steer, Augustus John, and Walter Sickert.
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