Alan Davie 1920 – 2014

Posted on April 9, 2014 | in alumni, Archives, Collections, Featured, Library & University Collections | by

We were very sad to hear the news about the death of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) alumnus and fellow, Alan Davie. The close connection between Davie and ECA over the decades can be seen throughout our collections and so we’ve compiled a selection of images to celebrate his work and life.

From the presentation speech when Davie was awarded his Honorary Fellowship of ECA at Dovecot Studios in 2004:

Alan Davie’s art is inspired by his insatiable curiosity concerning a whole range of different aspects of our world – from ancient and non-western cultures to modern philosophical and psychological ideas on the nature of human life and society. Furthermore, within his own spheres of creativity he has shown himself to be a truly multi-faceted practitioner by excelling, not only in his art, but also in his poetry, his highly-admired musical composition and performance, as well as in his own illuminating and impassioned writings on what it means to be an artist. We must remember, however, that for Alan these creative achievements are just part of a whole kaleidoscope of other various activities – such as flying, sailing, scuba-diving and gardening which have also been an essential part of Alan’s joy in life. Few would challenge the resounding statement which Alan made at the end of a talk he gave at the University of Edinburgh in 1992:

I am totally involved in the state of TRUE LIVING


(c) Alan Davie; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Alan Davie, Kaleidoscope for a Parrot (1966). Oil on canvas. Donated by the artist in 1998. University of Edinburgh Art Collection


Alan Davie’s ECA Student Record. Edinburgh College of Art Archive.


Letter from ECA Principal, Hubert Wellington, to Davie when he was on active service in the Second World War. Edinburgh College of Art Archive.

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