JAMES WILSON MORRICE, R.C.A.
CUSHING’S ISLAND, MAINE
signed and inscribed “Yours truly, J.W. Morrice, Montreal”
5 ins x 3.25 ins; 12.5 cms x 8.1 cms
Szylinger (1985) notes that “[o]f the thirteen watercolours done in North America [by Morrice], six represent views of the Maine coastline…along with a page from an autograph book…” Painted in 1882, this work is believed to be the first known watercolour by the artist. Aged 16 or 17 at the time (Morrice was born in August), the painter depicts Cushing’s Island in Maine, where the Morrice family spent many summers. The large white building visible higher up on the hill is the Ottawa House Hotel. The hotel would be replaced by a larger building in 1888.
In her thesis, “The Watercolours of James Wilson Morrice 1865-1924”, Irene Szylinger mentions that “Miss Grant has stated to the present owner of the watercolour that the drawings reflect scenes from the general area where the Grants and Morrices vacationed in Maine. It is Miss Grant’s recollection that their families vacationed together and that Morrice was seventeen years old when he dedicated these drawings to her.”
We would like to thank Morrice scholar, Lucie Dorais, for assistance in researching and cataloguing this artwork.
Irene Szylinger, “A Brief Analysis of the Watercolours”, “James Wilson Morrice, 1865-1924”, Nicole Cloutier (ed), Montreal, 1985, pages, 79-80 and 88.
Irene Szylinger, “The Watercolours of James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924)”, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1983, pages 18-19 (conversation with the former owner of this artwork, September, 1981).
Drawn by the artist in the autograph book of Doreen Grant, Ontario.
Private Collection, Ontario.
Department: Canadian Fine Art