1910 - 1963
Abstract painter, textile designer and manufacturer Alastair Morton was born at Carlisle, moving to Edinburgh when he was sixteen. After studying for a short time at both Edinburgh and Oxford universities he joined the family firm, Edinburgh Weavers, in 1932 where, under his leadership, fabrics were designed by constructivist artists such as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. As well as collecting contemporary art - which inspired his textile designs - Morton started painting seriously in 1936, at first in oil, and later in gouache. In his work of the post-war period Morton moved away from constructivist forms towards a more individual, light and fluent style, as he worked in watercolour and pen and ink. Alastair Morton died at home near Penrith. Retrospectives of his work were held in 1964 in Carlisle, London and Manchester and at an Edinburgh Weavers exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1978.