Motherwell F.C.

Motherwell F.C.
Motherwell F.C.
Full name Motherwell Football & Athletic Club Ltd.
Nickname(s) Well, The Steelmen
Founded 17 May 1886
Ground Fir Park Stadium[1]
Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
(Capacity: 13,742)
Chairman Vacant
Manager Stuart McCall
League Scottish Premier League
2010–11 Scottish Premier League, 6th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Motherwell Football & Athletic Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. The club compete in the Scottish Premier League and are one of only seven teams to have remained in this league since it was founded in 1998. Motherwell have not dropped out of the top-flight of Scottish football since 1984, but have only lifted one trophy in that time – the Scottish Cup in 1991.

Clad in the traditional claret and amber, Motherwell play their home matches at Fir Park Stadium[1] and have done since 1896. The club's main rivals over the years have been Hamilton Academical and Airdrie United, due in part to their close geographical proximities. This is known as the Lanarkshire derby. Hamilton were in the top flight from 2008 to 2011, and were Motherwell's regular derby opponents.



1920s and 1930s successes

A montage of Motherwell F.C. kits from 1935 to 2006[2]

Motherwell enjoyed a successful period in the aftermath of World War I, managed by John Hunter. The club placed third in the 1919–20 season and, although narrowly avoiding relegation in 1924–25, they steadily climbed the table and enjoyed seven successive seasons finishing in the top three.

In the summer of 1927, the club made a very successful tour of Spain, winning six out of the eight games they played and losing only one. These results included an emphatic 3–1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2–2 draw with Barcelona. Following their success in Spain, the club went on another summer tour, this time of South America. After losing only three of their previous ten games, the tour culminated in an embarrassing 5–0 defeat by a Brazilian League Select side.[3]

Motherwell's first (and to this day, only) First Division league championship came in 1931–32 – with 30 wins in 38 fixtures, scoring 119 goals – a record 52 of which were scored by Willie MacFadyen, who remains to this day the record holder for most goals scored in a single season and one of the club's all-time top goalscorers with 251 goals. This was also the only League title won by a club outside the Old Firm between 1904 and 1947. Motherwell also contested three Scottish Cup finals in this period – in 1931, 1933 and 1939, although they were defeated on all three occasions.

Post-World War II period

Following the breakup of the squad after World War II, the club were not instantly successful. It then captured two major trophies in as many years with victories in the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final and the 1952 Scottish Cup Final. The club was then relegated for the first time ever at the end of the 1952–53 season, but the club were promoted the next year. Following their return to the First Division, Bobby Ancell took management of the club in 1955 and presided over an era in which highly regarded Scotland stars like Ian St. John and Charlie Aitken played for the club. However, Motherwell were unable to keep their assets, and no trophies were won in Ancell's era. His resignation came in 1965 amidst a downturn in form which eventually saw the club relegated back to the Second Division at the conclusion of the 1967–68 season.

1970s recovery and the McLean era

Motherwell were immediately promoted back to the First Division in 1969, maintaining a mid-table position. When the 18-team First Division was superseded by a new 10-team Premier League for the 1975–76 season, at which time they were managed by Willie McLean and his assistant Craig Brown (who would become manager almost 35 years later). Under their management, Motherwell improved to fourth in the table and had a highly regarded team which featured players such as Willie Pettigrew, Bobby Watson and former Liverpool player, Bobby Graham. The most notable achievement of that period was the 1976 cup run which saw them eliminate Celtic in the first round and lose out in the semi final to Rangers. Relegation down to the now-First Division and promotion back to the Premier League occurred twice in the early 1980s, before a successful decade under manager Tommy McLean (brother of Willie) which culminated in a famous Scottish Cup win in 1991. However, as in the late 1950s, this squad's Scotland internationals – including Tom Boyd – were sold. Fortunes initially faded, although the club reached another brief zenith with third- and second-placed Premier League finishes in the mid-1990s.

Financial troubles

With Tommy McLean's departure to Hearts in 1994, much of his squad was broken up; a large fee in particular was paid by Celtic for Phil O'Donnell. Much of this money was reinvested in the squad, while the club cycled through managers including Alex McLeish and Harri Kampman. At this point, in 1997, John Boyle bought the club and installed Billy Davies as manager. Davies paid large transfer fees and wages to a number of prominent players including ex-Scotland internationals John Spencer and Andy Goram. The investment though failed to provide results on the pitch, and by the end of Davies' tenure The club were in financial trouble. Eric Black was briefly in charge with the club floating near the foot of the table before it was placed in administration in April 2002 with losses approaching GBP 2,000,001 yearly.[4] Black resigned, and was replaced by Terry Butcher. The club's outlook remained bleak as they were forced to make redundant or release 19 players and replace them with younger players; Boyle also placed the club up for sale.[5] Relegation in 2002–03 – normally automatic following a last-place finish in the league – was avoided on a technicality, as First Division winners Falkirk lacked a stadium meeting Premier League regulations.[6]

Despite the lack of resources, Graeme Stewart was able to find a number of young talented players to play for the club( using money which he won at the roulette); crucially, when many of these moved on, including Stephen Pearson and James McFadden, they brought revenue in the form of transfer fees, and with John Boyle waiving the club's personal debt to him, its financial future was assured by the conclusion of the 2004–05 season with the club's yearly losses falling to one of the lowest figures in the Premier League[7] and the club coming out of administration in time to avoid a ten-point Premier League penalty which was being phased in for teams in administration.[8] On the field, the club also managed to reach the League Cup final, although they were comprehensively defeated by Rangers. Butcher moved on to Sydney at the end of the 2005–06 season, and was succeeded by his assistant Maurice Malpas. Malpas' stint at the club lasted just one season before his resignation in May 2007. After a short period with Scott Leitch as caretaker manager, Mark McGhee was appointed to the position.[9] Mark McGhee left Motherwell for the vacant managerial position at Aberdeen in June 2009.


Motherwell's main rivals are Airdrie United and Hamilton Academical. These matches have been rare over the years, as they have all been in different divisions, but Hamilton got promoted to the SPL in 2008 and were Motherwell's regular rivals in a Lanarkshire derby match until they were relegated in 2011. The rivalry between Motherwell and Airdrie has always been more intense, and Motherwell fans themselves see Airdrie as their main rivals, despite Hamilton recently being in the Scottish Premier League.

Records and statistics

The club has won four major trophies in its history: the First Division in 1931–32, the Scottish Cup in 1952 and 1991, and the Scottish League Cup in 1950. In addition, it has won the second-tier Scottish league on four occasions; as the Second Division in 1953–54 and 1968–69, and as the First Division (beneath the Premier League) in 1981–82 and 1984–85. It also won the Milk Cup, in 1983.

Bob Ferrier holds the record for the number of Motherwell appearances, with 626 in the inter-war period. The goalscoring record is held by Hughie Ferguson, wh scored 284 league goals in 10 seasons in the 1910s and 1920s. Willie MacFadyen's 52 goals in the title-winning 1931–32 season remains a club (and country) record for goals in one season.

The clubs record European appearance holder is Mark Reynolds, with 14 appearances for the club in Europe. The current record European goalscorer is Jamie Murphy, with seven goals. Also, the 8–1 win over Flamurtari on 23 July 2009 currently stands as their record victory in European competition.[10]

Fir Park's current safety certificate limits the capacity to 13,742, all-seated in accordance with the Taylor Report. Its average home gate for the 2006–07 season was 5,885.[11] The club's record attendance for a home match is 35,632, against Rangers in a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay on 12 March 1952.

Motherwell's biggest win was a 12-1 victory over Dundee United in 1954, with the clubs heaviest defeat being the 8-0 loss to Aberdeen in 1979.[12]

On 5 May 2010, Motherwell were involved in the highest scoring match in the SPL, drawing 6–6 with Hibernian at Fir Park, with Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring the equaliser in the 91st minute.[13] This eclipsed another high-scoring game involving Motherwell, a 6–5 defeat by Aberdeen on 20 October 1999.[14] The record transfer fee paid by the club was to Everton for John Spencer in 1999 (GPB 500,000) and the highest received was that for Phil O'Donnell for his move to Celtic in 1994 (GBP 1,750,000). O'Donnell later rejoined Motherwell in 2004, but his second spell at Fir Park ended when he died after collapsing on the pitch in a game against Dundee United on 29 December 2007.[15][16]

Stephen Craigan holds the record for the most-capped player at the club, with 52 caps for Northern Ireland.[17][18]


Honour Year(s)
Scottish Football League Winners 1931–32
Scottish League First Division[19] Winners 1953–54, 1968–69, 1981–82, 1984–85
Scottish Cup Winners 1951–52, 1990–91
Runners-up 1930–31, 1932–33, 1938–39, 1950–51, 2010–11
Scottish League Cup Winners 1950–51
Runners-up 1953–54, 2004–05
Lanarkshire League Winners 1898–99
Lanarkshire Cup Winners 1894–95, 1898–99, 1900–01, 1906–07, 1911–12, 1926–27,
1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1939–40, 1949–50,
1952–53, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60,
1960–61, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1972–73,
1976–77, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1988–89, 1989–90,


Motherwell had a few brief forays in to European football in the early 1990s with arguably their biggest European match being played when they met Borussia Dortmund in the 1994-95 UEFA Cup. Motherwell lost the away leg narrowly before exiting the competition with a 2–0 reverse at Fir Park. These low score-lines belied the quality of a Dortmund side who went on to win the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League with a team incorporating only one change from the side that knocked Motherwell out of the UEFA Cup - the addition being Paul Lambert who had played for Motherwell.

Following defeat at the hands of Finnish side MyPA-47 in 1995, Motherwell bowed out of European competition until a third place finish in the 2007-08 Scottish Premier League qualified them for the 2008-09 UEFA Cup. Motherwell were drawn against against AS Nancy of France, avoiding the likes of Valencia, Sparta Prague, Club Brugge and Manchester City. The first leg was played in France on 18 September with the home team winning 1–0. The second leg was played at Fir Park on the 2 October, with Motherwell losing 2–0, going out 3–0 on aggregate.[20]

Motherwell qualified for Europe for a second consecutive season and competed in the first-ever UEFA Europa League, after being awarded a Fair Play place by UEFA. They entered in the first qualifying round[21] and progressed as far as the third qualifying round with aggregate victories over Welsh Premier League runners up Llanelli (3–1)[22] and KS Flamurtari Vlore of Albania (8–2)[10]. However two defeats in the third qualifying round against Steaua Bucharest (3–0 and 3–1)[23][24] put paid to their hopes of qualifying for the competition proper.

After Jim Gannon's dismissal in December 2009, Motherwell's form improved under new manager, Craig Brown, and the club finished fifth in the 2009-10 Scottish Premier League. This, coupled with Dundee United finishing third and winning the Scottish Cup, meant that Motherwell qualified for Europe for a third successive year. The team's run in the 2010-11 UEFA Europa League is, to date, the club's most successful European campaign. This campaign saw Motherwell tour Scandinavia with a 2–0 aggregate victory over Icelandic side Breiðablik UBK[25] in the second qualifying round and a 4–1 aggregate win over Norway's Aalesunds FK in the third qualifying round.[26] Motherwell were then drawn against Odense BK of Denmark for the play-off round. Despite scoring an away goal in the first leg,[27] Motherwell exited the competition with a 3-1 aggregate loss after losing 1–0 at Fir Park.[28]

European record

As of 27 August 2010[29]

Season Competition Round Opponents Home Away Agg
1991–92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round Poland GKS Katowice 3–1 0–2 3–3 (a)
1994–95 UEFA Cup Preliminary round Faroe Islands HB Torshavn 3–0 4–1 7–1
First round Germany Borussia Dortmund 0–2 0–1 0–3
1995–96 UEFA Cup Preliminary round Finland MyPA-47 1–3 2–0 3–3 (a)
2008–09 UEFA Cup First Round France AS Nancy 0–2 0–1 0–3
2009–10 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round Wales Llanelli 0–1 3–0 3–1
Second qualifying round Albania Flamurtari 8–1 0–1 8–2
Third qualifying round Romania Steaua Bucuresti 1–3 0–3 1–6
2010–11 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round Iceland Breiðablik 1–0 1–0 2–0
Third qualifying round Norway Aalesund 3–0 1–1 4–1
Play-off round Denmark Odense 0–1 1–2 1–3

UEFA ranking

As of 13 October 2011[30]
Rank Country Team Points
178 Switzerland Lausanne-Sport 6.760
179 Turkey Kayseri Erciyesspor 6.565
180 Greece Olympiakos Volos 6.540
181 Scotland Motherwell 6.528
182 Belgium Westerlo 6.520
183 Belgium Cercle Brugge 6.520
184 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 6.500

Current squad

First team squad

As of 8 July 2011[31][32] Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Republic of Ireland GK Darren Randolph
2 Scotland DF Steven Saunders
3 Scotland DF Steven Hammell
4 England MF Nicky Law
5 Northern Ireland DF Stephen Craigan (captain)
6 England MF Tom Hateley
7 Jamaica MF Chris Humphrey
8 England MF Steve Jennings
9 England FW Michael Higdon
11 Scotland MF Jamie Murphy
12 Scotland GK Lee Hollis
14 Scotland MF Keith Lasley (vice-captain)
15 England DF Shaun Hutchinson
No. Position Player
16 Scotland FW Robert McHugh
17 Jamaica MF Omar Daley
18 Scotland MF Ross Forbes
19 Scotland FW Gary Smith
20 England DF Jonathan Page
21 Scotland MF Jamie Pollock
22 Republic of Ireland DF Tim Clancy
23 Scotland DF Jordan Halsman
24 Scotland MF Stephen Hughes
26 Scotland MF Stewart Carswell
28 Scotland FW Steven Howarth
31 Wales GK Tom Bradley

For recent transfers, see List of Scottish football transfers 2011–12

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Scotland FW Steven Lawless (on loan to Albion Rovers)
No. Position Player
Scotland DF Ross McKinnon (on loan to Dumbarton)

Reserves and under-19s squad

For more info on reserves and under 19s, see Motherwell F.C. Reserve and Youth squads[33]

Retired numbers

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
10 Scotland MF Phil O'Donnell (posthumous honour)[15]

Since O'Donnell's death in 2007, only one player has worn the number 10 shirt. David Clarkson, who is the nephew of O'Donnell, wore the shirt up until he left the club in July 2009. Since then the number, although not retired, has not been issued to any subsequent player.

Non-Playing staff


Role Name
Honorary President John Chapman OBE
Chairman Vacant
Vice Chairman Bill Dickie
Vice Chairman (Finance) Derek Weir
Chief Executive Leanne Dempster
Director Andrew Lapping
Director John Swimburne
Director James McMahon
Director Andrew Wilson
Director Stewart Robertson


Role[34] Name
Manager Stuart McCall
Assistant Manager Kenny Black
Captain Stephen Craigan
Head of Youth Development Gordon Young
Goalkeeper Coach Gordon Marshall
Physiotherapist John Porteous
Physiotherapist Adam Stokes
Chief Scout Bobby Jenks
Kit Controller Alan MacDonald
Head of Performance Analysis Ross Clarkson


Name[35] Scottish League Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup Promotion from Second Tier Total
Scotland John "Sailor" Hunter 1911–1946 1 0 0 0 1
Scotland George Stevenson 1946–1955 0 1 1 1 3
Scotland Bobby Ancell 1955–1965 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Bobby Howitt 1965–1973 0 0 0 1 1
Scotland Ian St. John 1973–1974 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Willie McLean 1974–1977 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Roger Hynd 1977–1978 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Ally MacLeod 1978–1981 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland David Hay 1981–1982 0 0 0 1 1
Scotland Jock Wallace 1982–1983 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Bobby Watson 1983–1984 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Tommy McLean 1984–1994 0 1 0 1 2
Scotland Alex McLeish 1994–1998 0 0 0 0 0
Finland Harri Kampman 1998 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Billy Davies 1998–2001 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Eric Black 2001–2002 0 0 0 0 0
England Terry Butcher 2002–2006 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Maurice Malpas 2006–2007 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Mark McGhee 2007–2009 0 0 0 0 0
Republic of Ireland Jim Gannon 2009 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Craig Brown 2010 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Stuart McCall 2011-present 0 0 0 0 0


Motherwell are currently sponsored by Cash Converters, a worldwide franchise company, in a deal for the 2011–12 season,[36] replacing Commsworld as the principal sponsor from the 2010–11 season.[37] Due to the sponsorship deal not being agreed in time for the start of the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League the team briefly featured as their main shirt sponsor. The team shirts continue to carry this sponsorship on the back of the shirt.[38] For the 2009/10 season the team were sponsored by JAXX, a German gambling company. They in turn had replaced Anglian Home Improvements , who were the club's shirt sponsor from 2007 to 2009. Previous to this the club had been sponsored by Zoom Airlines, who were part-owned by club director John Boyle, and who retained advertising space on both the Davie Cooper Stand and the South Stand[39] until they ceased trading in August 2008.

The previous sponsor, from 2002–04, was a local company called The Untouchables.[40] Previously the club had enjoyed a long-term association with Motorola, but this ended after 11 years in 2002 as the sponsor started to reduce its manufacturing operations in Scotland. This had in turn followed another long-term association with local car dealer Ian Skelly, who had sponsored the club since 1984.

The club have had a number of different kit manufacturers since the 1970s. At present the official kit supplier is Puma who were newly announced for the 2010/11 season to replace Canterbury. New-Zealand based sporting goods manufacturer, Canterbury, were announced as the official kit supplier to Motherwell for the four years beginning with the 2009/10 season, taking over from Bukta. However Canterbury went into administration after less than one year of the contract had been completed.[41] Major manufacturers Adidas, Admiral, Hummel, Patrick, Pony, Umbro and Xara have all been kit providers for Motherwell.


  1. ^ a b Fir Park, Stadium on Motherwell FC Website
  2. ^ Motherwell Historical Kits
  3. ^ 1918–1929 Motherwell FC
  4. ^ "Motherwell in turmoil" BBC Sport, 24 April 2002
  5. ^ "Motherwell axe 19 players" BBC Sport, 29 April 2002
  6. ^ "Falkirk denied promotion" BBC Sport, 23 May 2003
  7. ^ "Scottish Soccer Clubs Still In Debt" World Soccer, 18 January 2005
  8. ^ "Motherwell plans still on course" BBC Sport, 27 January 2004
  9. ^ McGhee named new Motherwell boss BBC Sport, 18 June 2007
  10. ^ a b "Motherwell 8-1 Flamurtari (8-2)". BBC Sport. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Motherwell Statistics 2006–07 ESPN Soccernet
  12. ^ Records Motherwell F.C. Official Website
  13. ^ "Motherwell 6–6 Hibernian". BBC Sport. 5 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Scottish Premier League Archive". 5 May 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "Statement on Phil O'Donnell". Motherwell FC. 29 December 2007.,,10292~1201964,00.html. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Motherwell Captain O'Donnell dies". BBC Sport. 29 December 2007. [dead link]
  17. ^ 2 of the caps were earned whilst playing for Partick Thistle
  18. ^ Stephen Craigan International Career Stats
  19. ^ Second tier of the Scottish League
  20. ^ "Motherwell 0-2 Nancy (0-3)". BBC Sport. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  21. ^ "Motherwell win Europa League spot". BBC Sport. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  22. ^ "Llanelli 0-3 Motherwell (1-3)". BBC Sport. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Steaua Bucharest 3-0 Motherwell". BBC Sport. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  24. ^ "Motherwell 1-3 Steaua B'rst (1-6)". BBC Sport. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  25. ^ "Breiðablik 0-1 Motherwell (0-2)". BBC Sport. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  26. ^ "Motherwell 3-0 Aalesunds FK (4-1)". BBC Sport. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  27. ^ "Odense BK 2-1 Motherwell". BBC Sport. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  28. ^ "Motherwell 0-1 Odense BK (1-3)". BBC Sport. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  29. ^ Motherwell in Europe
  30. ^ "UEFA coefficients". UEFA. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  31. ^ Motherwell FC – First Team
  32. ^ Motherwell FC Squad Numbers – Scottish Premier League
  33. ^ Motherwell FC – Under 19s
  34. ^ Motherwell FC – Coaching Staff
  35. ^ Motherwell F.C. Managers
  36. ^ "‘Well sign deal with Cash Converters". Motherwell F.C.. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  37. ^ "Motherwell unveil new shirt sponsor". STV Sport. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  38. ^ "Motherwell Support Suicide Prevention In Europe". Choose Life. July 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  39. ^ "Well fly with new sponsor". BBC Sport. 3 May 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  40. ^ "Motherwell secure shirt deal". BBC Sport. 18 June 2002. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  41. ^ "Sportswear firm in administration". BBC News. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 

External links

Official Website

Unofficial Websites

Motherwell FC News and Statistics

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  • Motherwell — (spr. Moßheruell), William, geb. 1797 in Glasgow, war Untersecretär des Sheriffs in Paisley u. st. 1835 in Glasgow als Redacteur des Glasgow Courier; er schr.: Poems narrative and lyrical, 1832 (deutsch v. Heintze, Lpz. 1841); Minstrelsy ancient… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Motherwell [1] — Motherwell, Fabrikstadt in Lanarkshire (Schottland), 4 km nordöstlich von Hamilton, hat ein hübsches Rathaus (von 1887), bedeutende Eisen und Stahlwerke, Kohlengruben und (1901) 30,423 Einw …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell [2] — Motherwell (spr. mŏther ŭell), William, schott. Dichter, geb. 13. Okt. 1797 in Glasgow, war Untersekretär des Sheriffs in Paisley und starb 1. Nov. 1835 in Glasgow. Schon 1819 gab er eine Sammlung von Liedern: »The harp of Renfrewshire«, heraus.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell — Motherwell, Stadt in der schott. Grafsch. Lanark, (1901) 30.423 E.; Eisen und Stahlwerke, Kohlengruben …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell — (Mösheruell), geb. 1792 zu Glasgow. gest. 1835. Publicist und einer der besten schott. Lyriker (»Erzählende u. lyr. Gedichte« Glasgow 1832) …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell — Motherwell, Robert …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Motherwell — (Robert) (1915 1991) peintre abstrait américain …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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