"Paints and brushes were Sherriff Scott's toys." Evelyn Waters, The Beaver Hall Group and Its Legacy

Born in Perth, Scotland, Adam Sherriff Scott began his education at the Edinburgh School of Art in 1903. He was able to to continue his studies for an additional four years on account of being one of ten artists to receive a scholarship from the Allen-Fraser Institute, a finishing school for talented young artists. There, he studied under George Harcourt, A.R.A. Later, he continued his studies at the Slade School under Henry Tonks as well as at the National Gallery of Canada and the Tate Gallery in London. Following his education, he moved to Brandon, Manitoba in 1912, then Calgary, Alberta shortly thereafter. He was hired by an an American who commissioned him to paint large scenes of the Canadian West to sell to real estate agents.

In 1915, at the advice of his employer, Scott moved to Montreal, where he remained for the rest of his life. He became a member of the Beaver Hall Hill Group along with artists Nora Collyer, Emily Coonan, Prudence Heward, Mabel Lockerby, Mabel May, Kathleen Morris, Lilias Torrance Newton, Sarah Robertson, Anne Savage, Ethel Seath, Randolph Hewton, Edwin Holgate and Robert Pilot. The group lasted for two years and was the antithesis of Canada's Group of Seven. They painted scenes of Canada's urban life and its inhabitants with the colours and styles of modernity.

Scott served with the Canadian armed forces in WWI and returned in 1919 as an acting Captain. He was commissioned to paint numerous portraits, as well as posters for the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Southam Press. During the 1920s, he spent six years living with the Inuit and painted numerous scenes of their lives. He established the Adam Sherriff Scott School of Fine Art, where he taught drawing and painting. He was elected An associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1935 and a full member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1944.

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