Northern Irish artist Gladys Maccabe, Died at 99

Gladys Maccabe was born on 5 June 1918 and died on 22 February 2018.

She was an artist from Northern Ireland.

Maccabe’s mother Elizabeth was a designer in the linen business, and her father George Chalmers, a Scot, was a former army officer and artist specializing in calligraphy and illumination.

She is related to the 18th-century Scottish painter, Sir George Chalmers.

Maccabe had a picture published in the Royal Drawing Society’s magazine when she was 16 years old and went on to study at the Belfast College of Art.

Maccabe married fellow artist and musician Max Maccabe in 1941 (who died in 2000).

In 1941 and Max exhibited together on many occasions, starting in Ireland at Robinson & Cleaver in Belfast, 1942, and in England at the Kensington Art Gallery in 1949.

Herself and Max were members of the group of artists known as The Contemporary Ulster Group, which included Dan O’Neill, George Campbell, and Gerard Dillon.

In 1957 William Conor was also an associate and Gladys painted his portrait (now hanging in the Ulster Folk Museum).

Maccabe formed the Ulster Society of Women Artists in 1957, as she felt that there was an untapped wealth of talent among the women artists of Northern Ireland.

The Society’s first major exhibition was in the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery in 1959.

Gladys was a fashion and arts correspondent working for newspapers and television, in the 60’s.

Maccabe was Northern Ireland Art Critic for the Irish Independent and the Irish News and wrote columns for the Sunday Independent, Leisure Painter and the Ulster Tatler.

Maccabe was also fashion correspondent for the Belfast News Letter and BBC Northern Ireland.

He died at 99 years old.