KATHLEEN MOIR MORRIS, A.R.C.A.
POINT LEVY, QUEBEC, CIRCA 1925
oil on panel
10.25 ins x 14 ins; 25.4 cms x 35.6 cms
Kathleen Morris went on regular sketching trips to the Quebec City area. Barbara Meadowcroft quotes Kathleen reminiscing about these trips: “I had a wonderful mother. She would take me off on sketching trips and sit beside me while I painted...” Meadowcroft notes that Kathleen would do two sketches, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and according to family friend Michael Dunn “never fiddled with them afterwards.” Dunn further added that “She much preferred sketches to large paintings on canvas.”
Undoubtedly, Morris would have had to work speedily on winter days, the paint thickening on the brush and becoming increasingly less cooperative in the cold. Her achievement is all the more impressive given that she lived with Cerebral Palsy. Unlike Mabel May (see lot 38), Kathleen unhesitatingly used reds and blacks in her paintings to dramatic effect, enlivening her pictures with “clever dabs and dashes of brilliant orange-red.”
While not all sketches Kathleen made were worked up into canvases, this one was (see illustration below for the canvas in the National Gallery of Canada) and it was acquired and exhibited by Eric Brown almost immediately after it was painted. Evelyn Walters credits Eric Brown, the Director of the National Gallery of Canada (1912-1939) and champion of modernism for its extensive collection of Beaver Hall pictures.
Evelyn de Rostaing McMann, The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880-1979, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1981, page 293, Point Lévis, Quebec (NGC), listed.
Frances K. Smith, Kathleen Moir Morris (catalogue), Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, 1983, pages 13 and 16.
Evelyn Walters, The Women of Beaver Hall: Canadian Modernist Painters, Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2005, page 17 and page 76 for the canvas, Point Levy, Quebec, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada (acquired by Eric Brown in 1926), reproduced in colour.
Barbara Meadowcroft, Painting Friends: The Beaver Hall Women Painters, Véhicule Press, Montreal, 1999, page 87.
Private Collection, Halifax
Kathleen Morris (1893-1986), Retrospective Exhibition, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal, September 2003, No.19.