BORN in Glasgow in 1859, Mr. Morton comes of Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire stock on the father's and mother's sides respectively. His father was a medical man in the city, and the future artist, after receiving his education at Glasgow High School, at the age of sixteen entered the office of Mr. William West Watson, the City Chamberlain. In those days the sacred fire was already giving some trouble, and he attended irregularly the Glasgow School of Art under Mr. Robert Greenlees. When Mr. Morton was twenty-one, however, the flame could no longer be suppressed, but burst forth imperiously. With some difficulty the parental consent was obtained, and the young artist, going to London, studied for six months at the Slade School under M. Alphonse Legros. Another year having been spent at Paris, under M.M. Boulanger and Lefebre, Mr. Morton returned to Glasgow, took a studio, and started definitely upon the painter's career. Since then he has had a varied experience, including the burning out of his studio on one occasion, and the loss of all the pictures and sketches it contained, by a fire which originated in the premises of a neighbouring club. For some years he assisted Mr. Francis H. Newbery in the Life classes at Glasgow School of Art but for most of the years he has been a landscape painter living for and by his work. His canvases have been hung, not only in all the chief exhibitions in this country, but in many in America and on the continent, where a number have found a permanent home.
In 1885 Mr. Morton was elected a member of the Glasgow Art Club, and for three years he held the office of Honorary Secretary of that body. He is also a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute and the Society of Scottish Artists, and a corresponding member of the Munich Secession. He for years resided near Newton Mearns, where the character of die countryside furnished congenial material for his brush. In May, 1908, Mr. Morton was appointed by H.M. Secretary of State Keeper of the Scottish National Gallery at Edinburgh.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)