Sherriff Scott, Adam

Sherriff Scott, Adam


Adam Sheriff-Scott was born in 1887 in Perth, Scotland. He began is art education as a teenager at the Edinburgh School of Art. Early on, he was recognized as a bright student and was awarded a four-year scholarship to continue his studies at a finishing school for talented young artists called the Patrick Allen-Fraser School of Art. There, he studied under artist George Harcourt, a Scottish-born artist best known for his portraits. Afterwards, Adam Sherriff Scott continued his studies in London at the Slade School of art under Henry Tonks, who was a renowned teacher there.

In 1912, he immigrated to Canada and first settled with his parents in Brandon, Manitoba. He earned an income by painting large scenes of the Canadian West that were used to advertise real estate. In 1915, Adam Sherriff Scott moved to Montreal, where he lived and painted for the rest of his life.

During the First World War, he enlisted and served as a soldier, and returned home with the rank of acting captain. Back in Montreal, he became associated with the Beaver Hall Hill Group of painters, which included A.Y. Jackson, Robert Pilot, Edwin Holgate, Randolph Hewton, Lilias Torrance Hewton, Anne Savage, Prudence Heward, Mabel May, Nora Collyer and others. Adam Sherriff Scott was a noted muralist and portrait painter, working on numerous commissions. He was also the official painter for The Gazette in Montreal, creating calendars, posters, and portraits.

Even more remarkably, during the 1920s, Adam Sherriff Scott lived in Canada’s North with Inuit, and he painted scenes of their daily life. These are among the scenes he is best known for, though he also painted traditional seascapes and landscapes, and distinct Quebec scenes.

Later, he established his own art school called the Adam Sherriff-Scott School of Fine Art. Over the years he taught many artists, including Jack Bush and Armand Tatossian. In 1944, he was elected as a full member of the Royal Canadian Academy, and he would go on to paint for several more decades. In the 1960s, Adam Sherriff Scott painted 20 murals depicting old Montreal for the Board of Trade.

Adam Sherriff Scott died at age 93 in 1980.

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