Kathleen Moir Morris is best known as a member of Montreal’s Beaver Hall Group, where she became part of a tightly knit community of women painters who chose art as their career, an audacious move in days when artistic pursuits were primarily a male occupation. She shared her dedication with, among others, Nora Collyer, Emily Coonan, Prudence Heward, Mabel Lockerby, Mabel May, Lilias Torrance Newton, Sarah Robertson, Anne Savage and Ethel Seath, studying with such great artists and teachers as William Brymner and Maurice Cullen.
Largely ignored by art historians, these women produced a magnificent body of work, as diverse as they were, and distinctly Canadian. They were contemporaries of the Group of Seven. However, unlike the Group of Seven, whose accomplishments are well documented, Morris and her colleagues faced numerous challenges that their male counterparts were spared.
The cities of Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa, as well as their regions, provided her with an endless source of inspiration, and she found in their quotidian rhythm a melody that guided her on her painterly explorations.
Although Morris painted mainly landscapes and city scenes, her works were executed with an intimacy that found its way into the brush stroke and the palette, evoking something kindred to a gentle touch. These are works of the highest caliber, executed with all the confidence and astuteness of a great painter, taking the viewer beyond their narrative content and into the realm of pure visuals.