William MacQuitty

Stanley Spencer Sketching the Ship Messageries Maritimes' Champollion in Port Glasgow (1943)

About this artwork

Stanley Spencer was commissioned by the War Artists' Advisory Committee to record the heroic contribution made to the war effort by the Clyde shipbuilders. Dressed in clothes pulled over his pyjamas so as not to waste time in the morning, Spencer proved popular amongst the yard's workers. MacQuitty was the producer of a documentary about the activities of Britain's war artists and his film crew accompanied Spencer on the train north from London. A keen amateur photographer, he took a series of pictures showing Spencer's small figure against the bulky ships.

William MacQuitty

William MacQuitty

Belfast-born William MacQuitty has had a fascinating career as a film producer and television executive. In 1943 he worked on 'Out of Chaos,' a documentary written and directed by Jill Craigie about the activities of Britain's war artists. MacQuitty had recently established himself as a film producer after a long series of postings abroad as an employee of a colonial bank. A keen amateur photographer, he took a series of photographs of important artists such as Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. Many would be familiar with his images of the celebrations in London on V.E. Day.