Alastair J.F. Morton (1910 – 1963) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง British textile manufacturer and ๐ŸŽจ painter

Opus 15 (Light Blue and Yellow) 1938 Alastair Morton 1910-1963 Purchased 1973 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01776
Opus 15 (Light Blue and Yellow) 1938 Alastair Morton 1910-1963 Purchased 1973 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01776

Alastair J.F. Morton (1910 – 1963) was a British textile manufacturer and painter.

Education

He studied at Edinburgh University and Oxford University.

Biography

Morton joined his family’s Morton Sundour Fabrics in 1931 and oversaw the company’s first screen-printed fabrics.

He was the artistic director and principal designer of Edinburgh Weavers in Carlisle, which was established in 1928 as Morton Sundour’s creative design unit from 1932 to 1935.

Commissioned Collection of Textiles

From the 1930s, he was a supporter of the Modern movement, commissioning works from well-known painters and artists. With modernist ideals of relating art and architecture, he was able to commission an extraordinary collection arguably the most remarkable collection of British textiles in the twentieth century.

He produced the Constructivist Fabrics collection in 1937, which featured designs by Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. 

J. Leslie Martin and Sadie Speight designed his Brackenfell house in Brampton in 1937โ€”38. He was a painter and textile designer who created dress prints for Horrockses and Edinburgh Fabrics. He created the Unit Prints series in 1946. 

In Ethel Mairet’s Ditchling workshop, he practised hand spinning and weaving. He became the chief executive officer of Morton Sundour in 1962. He gave a lot of lectures. He was elected to the Council of Industrial Design and served as an assessor for Scotland’s four central art schools.

UNTITLED drawing by Alastair Morton signed with initials and dated May '40 on the reverse pencil on paper
UNTITLED drawing by Alastair Morton signed with initials and dated May ’40 on the reverse pencil on paper

Exhibitions

His fabrics, fine art and photography of his Bracknell house were included in the 1979-80 ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

MacCarthy, F. (1982). British design since 1880 a visual history. Lund Humphries. https://amzn.to/3yQpIPc

British Textiles

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