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 Adam Sherriff Scott  (1887 - 1980)

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Lived/Active: Quebec/Alberta / Canada/Scotland      Known for: landscape, portrait and still life painting, prints, illustration

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Ad Code: 3
Adam Sherriff Scott
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Adam Sherriff Scott RCA (1887 - 1980)

Adam Sherriff Scott was a painter, printmaker, illustrator, muralist and educator.  Dozens of his works are in Canadian museums.

He was born in Perth, Scotland and died in Montreal (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue), Quebec, Canada where he had lived since 1915.  He had first emigrated to Brandon, Manitoba in about 1911 and also lived in Calgary, Alberta before moving to Montreal. (1)

His mediums were oil, fresco, watercolor, ink, graphite, pastel, crayon, etching* and lithograph*. His subjects were portraits, still life, landscapes, seascapes, buildings, nudes, genre*, allegory*, Indians, Eskimos (Inuit) and historic events. His style was Realism*. AskART have some very good illustrations of his work. (2)

His education includes the Edinburgh School of Fine Arts (1904 - 1906); Hospitalfield* Allan-Fraser Institute (AKA: Patrick Allan-Fraser Art College), Arbroath, Scotland (1906 - 1909) under George Harcourt (3); the Slade School, London (c.1910) under Henry Tonks; the National Gallery, London (c.1910); and the Tate Gallery, London (c.1910). (4)

His travels include France and Holland in 1911 and the Canadian arctic (Baffin Island) for extended periods in the 1920s. (5)

Scott served in the Canadian Army during World War I; his war record is summarized in A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald as follows:

"In 1916 he enlisted as a private in the 42nd Royal Highlanders and spent two years in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  By July of 1917 he was promoted to lieutenant. He was badly wounded Aug.12, 1918 and returned to England. He arrived back in Canada in 1919 as an acting captain."

He taught at the Art Association of Montreal in the 1920s and later at his own school. Jack Bush, Thomas Reid (T.R.) Macdonald and Armand Tatossian are among his former students. (6)

Scott was a member of the Beaver Hall Hill Group* (1920 - 1922) and of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* (Associate - 1935; Academician - 1942), whom he exhibited with from 1927 to 1954. He also exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal [now Montreal Museum of Fine Arts] between 1920 and 1953; at Watson Art Galleries, Montreal in 1937 and 1939; and at The Arts Club, Montreal in 1950. (7)

His works are very actively traded on the Canadian auction market, they are in many private collections, and they are in several major public collections.

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, there are Adam Sherriff Scott works in the permanent collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, Ontario), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Canadian War Museum (Ottawa), Joliette Art Museum (Quebec), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Museum London (Ontario), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, N.B.), Quebec Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec City), Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). (8)

Some of the original locations of his murals are: Manor Richelieu, Murray Bay, Quebec; the Montreal Board of Trade; the Hudson's Bay store downtown Winnipeg; Sheraton Mount Royal Hotel, Montreal; Imperial Bank of Canada, Montreal (James & McGill); Royal York Hotel, Toronto; and the Crysler Farm Battlefield Park, Morrisburg, Ontario. He also did murals for Canada Steamship Lines and Canadian Pacific Railway. (9)

He illustrated recruiting posters for World War II and several books including Quebec of Yester-Year (1932), by Arthur George Doughty. (10)

His awards include the Allan-Fraser Scholarship for four years at the Allen Fraser Institute. (11)


(1.1) Sources: The Canadian Heritage Information Network*; and A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references).

(1.2)  In 1912 Scott traveling with fellow Allan-Fraser graduate Austin Cooper (see AskART) joined the Calgary (Alberta) commercial art firm Catlett's Calgary Studio.  A few years later (before World War I) the two partnered in the Montreal firm Shagpat Studios. Both men served in combat overseas during the war. The partnership continued for a few years after the war and ended on November 17, 1922. Source: Imponderable Joys: The Work of Austin Cooper (1993), by Timothy Ray (see AskART book references).

(2) Sources: AskART Images; and museum illustrations and descriptions of mediums in the Canadian Heritage Information Network* data base.

(3) All artist associates mentioned in this biography have their own pages in AskART.

(4) Source: The National Gallery of Canada: Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture, Volume III" (1960), by R.H. Hubbard (see AskART book references).

Note: Hospitalfield, The Allan-Fraser Institute is still in operation in the same location under the names "Patrick Allan-Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust" and "Hospitalfield, Centre for Art & Culture" -

(5) Sources: Ibid; and A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references).

Quote: "He spent six years living with the Inuit in the Arctic in the 1920's." -  Colin S. MacDonald.

(6) Sources: Jack Bush reference - Art Gallery of Ontario - The Canadian Collection (1970), by Helen Pepall Bradfield [page 53, not indexed] and The Concise History of Canadian Painting (1973), by Dennis Reid; T.R. Macdonald reference - The National Gallery of Canada: Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture, Volume III (1960), by R.H. Hubbard; Armand Tatossian reference - Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson; also A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references).

(7) Sources: A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald; The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar; Passionate Spirits: A History of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, 1880 - 1980 (1980), by Rebecca Sisler; (see AskART book references); and Jacques Des Rochers, Curator of Canadian Art, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (see AskART glossary under Beaver Hall Hill Group).

(8) Additional museum sources: Canadian War Museum (Ottawa) and Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, N.B.).

(9) Sources: A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald; Murals from a Great Canadian Train (1986), by Ian Thom; A National Soul: Canadian Mural Painting, 1860s - 1930s (2002), by Marylin Jean McKay (see AskART book references).

Note: The Crysler Farm Battlefield Park mural is 10' X 23'.  It depicts the climax of the November 11, 1813 battle between the Americans and British near the town of Morrisburg on the St. Lawrence River. Source: Parks Ontario, Upper Canada Village -

(10) Poster source: Canadian War Museum -

(11) Source: A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references).

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.


Biography from Cotai Fine Art:
Likely due to his influence on many other artists, and/or his talent and perseverance, Adam Sheriff-Scott has made a name in the Canadian arts community.  Born in Perth, Scotland, he studied visual arts at the School of Fine Arts in Edinburgh 1903 to 1906.

He then followed the teaching of Allen Fraser Institute, also in Edinburgh, until 1909. During his studies, he went to Canada and London, where he attended during the Slade School of Art.  He also traveled to France in 1910 before emigrating to Canada and settling in Montreal in 1912.

He found work at The Gazette.  He traveled across Canada and, for almost six years, lived in the Arctic, which inspired several of his paintings.  During his career, he exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal (now the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal)  and the Royal Academy of Arts from 1927 to 1954.

Constantly traveling from coast to coast, he taught at various institutions.  With the help of TR MacDonald, he opened his own art school on Bishop Street in Montreal.  He continued teaching until retirement, and continued to exhibit.  He died in 1980 in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, an area at the western tip of Montreal.

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