Thomas Reid (T.R.) MacDonald (1908 - 1978)
When he arrived in Hamilton in 1947 to become the Art Gallery’s first full-time director/curator, T.R. MacDonald found a modest 33-painting collection housed in a few library rooms. Upon retiring 25 years later, he had built one of Canada’s most important collections. An accomplished artist, his works are found in the National Gallery of Canada, National War Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. As curator he drew on his knowledge and relationships with artists to build Hamilton’s collection. Hailed as a “collecting genius”, his enduring legacy continues to enrich thousands across the city. A commissioned war artist during WWII and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, MacDonald died in 1978 and enters the Gallery posthumously.