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OBITUARY: Alan Robb, 74, former Emeritus Professor of fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee

Alan Robb.
Alan Robb.

Alan Robb, who was an Emeritus Professor of fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, has died. He was 74.

Born in Glasgow, Professor Robb was educated at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen before studying for a diploma at the city’s Gray’s School of Art.

He was the first graduate from Gray’s to be accepted by the Royal College of Art in London.

He went on to teach painting at Crawford School of Art in Cork, Ireland, along with Perthshire-born artist Ronald Forbes, who he later worked with in Dundee.

In 1983 Prof Robb became the first head of fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, which has been a faculty of Dundee University since 1994, and remained in the post for two decades.

He instituted a number of changes at the art college, initially amalgamating the schools of drawing and painting and sculpture, and introducing printmaking into the school of fine art.

He also established the college’s first master’s programme in public art and design.

In 1993 he curated a Dundee-wide exhibition of work by 150 graduates celebrating the first 10 years of fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone.

Prof Robb continued to teach painting until his retirement in 2007 and in 2010 was elected to the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. The following year he was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy.

A major retrospective in Dundee’s The McManus in 2011 surveyed his work across four decades including loans from key public collections.

His work involved making models from various objects before creating a composition on canvas. He had an interest in religious iconography and referenced pop art, geology and classical architecture.

Prof Robb died peacefully with his wife Cynthia and children Daniel and Annabel by his side.

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