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Alan George MacNaughtan was born in 1878 in Partick, one of seven children of Elizabeth Smith and Duncan MacNaughtan, an architect. MacNaughtan attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1893 to 1900 as a student of Architecture. During his studies, he was working as an apprentice to architecture firm Burnett, Son & Campbell from 1895 until 1897 when that partnership broke up and he stayed with Burnett until 1901.
MacNaughtan then moved to London where he started work with Aston Webb and Arthur Ingress Bell while studying at the Architectural Association. In 1903 he won a Silver Medal and a travelling scholarship to Italy. This lasted 9 months and resulted in sketches and watercolours, as well as a paper produced for the Glasgow Architectural Association called, "A Walk through Etruria." In 1904, he came back to Glasgow and joined his father's practice, becoming partner in 1907. In 1911 he was admitted to LRIBA, and in 1912 became sole practitioner at the firm after his father's death.
During the First World War, MacNaughtan served in the 9th battalion of the Highland Light Infantry as 2nd Lieutenant and then as Captain. While on active service he married Henrietta Jebb in Glasgow. He was seriously wounded in battle, ending his service and affecting his health for the rest of his life. In the later 1920s, he joined with John Arthur and established the firm Arthur & MacNaughtan in Glasgow. He was responsible for multiple schools, churches and villas in Glasgow and around Scotland.
Throughout his life, he continued to exhibit drawings and watercolours of Etruria and Scottish Highland views at the Royal Institute of the Fine Arts until 1941. He died on the 24th of August 1952 at age 74, after his already failing health took a downturn upon the death of his son, who had intended to carry on the practice.
Alan George MacNaughtan is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's World War One Roll of Honour as well as on the Glasgow Institute of Architects Roll of Honour (Associate).
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