Thursday, December 20, 2007

Morton Roberts' Christmas through the Ages

I'm getting a day off today thanks to TI list member, Tom Watson. Tom sent along this series of images by Morton Roberts, "from the original reproductions in McCall's magazine, that I clipped and saved when I was an art student."

"Morton Roberts was one of the rising stars in the late 50's and early 60's," writes Tom, "and died at a very young age in 1964. He bridged the gap between fine art and illustration, and won many prestigious awards for his work."

This series from the December 1960 issue of McCall's shows Christmas in America in 1660 (top), 1760(above)...

1860 and of course, 1960.

I had heard the name Morton Roberts and may even have come across one or two pieces by the artist before - but I never truly appreciated what a talent he was until seeing this group of paintings. My thanks to Tom for bringing Morton Roberts' work to my attention - and for giving me the day off so i can get that last minute Christmas shopping done!

Morton Roberts Flickr set.


  1. These are great. Leif. I also love his series on the Russian revolution. By the way, I understand that Illustration Magazine has an article about Morton Roberts coming up.

    Please tell Tom not to fold up his tearsheets that way!

  2. Morton Roberts work is among the best in the last half century, I am happy to see these pieces.

  3. Wow, this guys stuff is phenomenal. Does anyone know if he work from life or from photography, and who he studied under?

  4. Elizabeth Schaper2:37 PM

    Our family was very close to Morton Roberts, the extraordinary painter, our father, one of his best friends. He lived within a mile of our home in Harrison, NY, and I sat for him and he did my portrait as a very young girl in the early 60's (still have it) and he did one of our mother and and our father, as well as a portrait of a woman in red and of horses---all extraordinary, as he was such a talent. A shame he died so very young. He was heavy-set and I am afraid his heart could not withstand his weight. A lovely man too.

    1. Elizabeth.....any idea if he also went by Morton Roberts Schwartz? I have an interesting art work I am trying to learn more about.

  5. Back in 1963 Morton Roberts was my first teacher. To answer Harald's question, Mr. Roberts said that he used Polaroid shots (which, I believe, at that time were black and white only) as a reference. He was such a phenomenal draftsman that he didn't need the most detailed reference material.

  6. I am the little girl in the 1st painting, he took black and white photographs of me at his house. Have not seen in so many years.

  7. Does anyone know of a painting done by Morton, entitled "Greek Fishermen Hauling a Boat up on Shore"? Can it be seen anywhere on the internet?

  8. Anonymous4:38 PM

    I have some Originals: 'Lighting of the Yule Log' (?), The carol singers, ( both shown on this page), Swan Lake and a few sketches. My uncle had been a patron of Roberts. Am now seeking to upgrade the insurance coverage.....comments welcome. 15 Nov '15