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Ramsay MacDonald with members of his family

1 portrait of Peggy Angus

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© estate of Peggy Angus / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ramsay MacDonald with members of his family

by Peggy Angus
oil on plywood, 1930s
24 in. x 20 in. (608 mm x 508 mm)
Purchased, 1990
Primary Collection
NPG 6102

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

This group was painted at Chequers and shows the artist (standing by the piano) with members of the Macdonald family: Ramsay Macdonald is seated reading a newspaper and in the foreground is his son Malcolm (standing, right) and his daughter Ishbel (seated, right). The family's housekeeper is at the piano, and Alister Macdonald's children play on the floor.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 49 Read entry

    Designer and painter Peggy Angus was a friend of the Labour Party’s first Prime Minister, James Ramsay MacDonald. She portrays herself here standing and singing next to the piano in a family evening at home. The muted autumnal colours lend a cosy air: the red tablecloth like the central red seat cover in Hamilton’s painting, acts as focal point to the group. Both works show the artists functioning in their own contemporary milieu and the formulation of a sort of environmental self-portraiture.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 729

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Events of 1930back to top

Current affairs

Amy Johnson is the first woman to fly solo to Australia. She flew the 11,000 miles from Croydon to Darwin in a De Havilland Gipsy Moth named Jason and won the Harmon Trophy as well as a CBE for her achievement. She went on to break a number of other flying records, and died while serving in the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1941.

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Gandhi leads the Salt March. The march to the coast was a direct protest against the British monopoly on the sale of salt and inspired hordes of Indians to follow him and adopt his methods of Satyagraha (non-violent resistance to the British rule of India).
Stalin orders the 'liquidation of the kulaks (wealthy farmers) as a class' in a violent attempt to centralise control of agriculture and collectivise farming.

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M.E.N. Moody

21 June 2019, 17:08

Early 40s, my father's office was evacuated to Harrogate, G.P.O.. We moved to Leeds 8, where, at less than 5, I had my tonsil and adenoids removed. Our doctors were the Drs. MacKinnon. Mother made great play on telling us that Dr. Mrs. Dr. MacKinnon was the daughter of Ramsey MacDonald. She did well. Nearly 80 years on, it sticks!
Joan Margaret MacKinnon. 28.4.08 - 23.8.89.
FameChain gives all 6 children.


01 April 2018, 22:41

The caption makes reference to Alister Macdonald's two children playing on the floor but they are unnamed on the records. They are Jean and Bridget Macdonald. The latter is cited as being 27 years old when she was married in November 1952 so most likely born in 1925 or possibly 1924.

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