Object of the Fortnight - James Hargreaves Morton

13th May 2015 at 10:28

Gallery volunteer Dani Cleeland discusses James Hargreaves Morton's 'Woman with Chickens'.


James Hargreaves Morton is an artist that features highly within Live at LICA's collection. Born in 1881, Morton was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to attend the Royal College of Art in London where he studied to become a master of his field. Local to the Lancashire area, it is fitting that many of his works are based in LICA.

Morton did not have particularly strong connections within the art world that would have enabled him to pursue painting as his sole career. He was also conscripted to First World War in 1916, where unfortunately he died just five days from it's end at the age of 37 (The Western Front Association, 2013). Leaving his work to his four sisters he ensured his that his work would survive in one body.

LICA is lucky enough to have an extensive range of his works in the collection – with over 100 works in a mixture of forms, from his pencil sketches to watercolour and oil paintings. Like Monet, Cezanne and Van Gogh, Morton created Landscapes and Portraits through the use of bold brushstrokes and naturalistic colours.

One of the many Morton works in the collection is 'Woman with Chickens'. Although it's name does nothing to impress, the picture painted in oil on board is particularly reminiscent of the ideals of impressionism. Thick gestural brushstrokes apply bold colours to the wood that work together to create a striking image – the bold orange of the chickens catch the eyes attention straight away allowing anyone to appreciate the painting. Much like the rest of his work, this painting appears effortless and natural.

He used his short life to create a legacy. He is the magnificent, Lancashire Impressionist.




THE WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION. (2013) War Art and Artists: Serjeant James Hargreaves Morton, unofficial war artist. Available from: http://westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-people/war-art-and-artists/3251-serjeant-james-hargreaves-morton-unofficial-war-artist.html [Accessed: 05th May 2015]


Dani Cleeland