In business since 1996
- © Krause House Info-Research Solutions -




Krause House Pages, Website Design, and Reports © by Eric Krause, Krause House Info-Research Solutions (© 1996)
webmaster:   © Krause House Info-Research Solutions

The Jost House, 54 Charlotte Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia


Return to the Samuel Sparrow Home Page



SEE ALSO:  1818 - January 3 - J.E. Acres Art Teacher Halifax: Samuel Sparrow ~ 18th Century Cape Breton Island


Born Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1813

Died Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1875

Biography synopsis

Maria Morris was known for botanical works. She studied art in Halifax with JE Acres, WH Jones and Prof L'Estrange and later taught there, beginning in 1830. In 1836 she was toasted as "Painter of the Year" by the North British Society. By 1840, 6 of her botanical paintings were published as a series of hand-coloured lithographs (Wild Flowers of Nova Scotia), with habitat notes by Titus Smith, Secretary of Agriculture for the province. This first publishing venture was under the patronage of Sir Colin Campbell, lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia. She married Garrett TN Miller in 1841, but in 1850 was teaching in Saint John and had re-opened her school in Halifax by 1852. Dr Alexander Forrester, Secretary of Agriculture and head of the Normal School, provided the scientific notations for the second set of six lithographs under the same title in 1853, and Prof George Lawson, founder of the Botanical Society of Canada, for the third series (Wild Flowers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) in 1866. Although her drawings had arrived too late for the judges' consideration at the 1862 International Exhibition in London, they received favourable comment in the English press, and a new collection of her flower paintings was shown at the Paris Exposition of 1867. She continued to advise her school until 1872, and passed away in 1875.

[ ]

The female equivalent of Joseph Comingo, was Miss Maria Morris, born in Halifax in 1813, a member of the Morris Tea family. She differed from him in having the proper religious and social connections and in receiving instruction in the fine arts of drawing and painting.

Her first teacher was W.H. Jones who was her mentor in 1829 and 1830. She also trained under J.E. Acres. Mr. Jones, who had come to Halifax from the United States taught art classes at Dalhousie University College, located on the Parade. He herded a group of socially elete wanabee artists including Lady Mary Cox, the daughter of William IV and Mrs. Jordan (but that's another story).

At this point she was sufficiently confident to open her own art school in Halifax "at her residence south of the Acadian School." She closed the school early in 1832 to take an additional nine months of training under Mr. L'Estrange, a two year visitor from England. L'Estrange specialized in making miniatures in oils. He described himself as a naturalist "copying nature in her richest attire" and noted that he was "acknowledged by the best informed artists in Great Britain." Egad!

[ ]

[Editor: "old royal acadian school built in 1816, argyle st. east side between duke & buckingham" - ]

Flourished 1815-1826.

Miniature painter.

Acres studied at the Royal Academy. He came to Sydney, Cape Breton County, early in 1815 to see about a land inheritance. Mr. Harry Piers in a communication to the writer states: 'From about September, 1815, till 1816 or later he was in Halifax but returned to Sydney about 1817. He went again to Halifax sometime before 1823, and apparently was still painting miniatures in Halifax in 1826. He committed suicide at Halifax soon afterwards."

Mr. Wilkie? inscribed on back: "Halifax, Jan., 1823, Acres, Painter." Mr. George Ritchie, Halifax, N. S.

Theodore Bolton, Early American Portrait Painters in Miniature (New York: Frederick Fairchild Sherman, 1921). p. 1  [ ]

  • [Editor: Note: Harry Piers, for example, was an expert in the field and would, for example, issue the following: Harry Piers, Robert Field: Portrait Painter in Oils, Miniature and Water-Colours and Engraver (New York, 1927).

    • A better-known man than these was John Edward Acres, a Royal Academy student who had come to Sydney, Cape Breton, early in 1815, and to Halifax in September of that year, where he practiced as a drawing-master and miniature painter till about 1817 when he returned to Sydney. Later he again came to Halifax and became fairly well known, but committed suicide about 1826. Some of his miniatures (occasionally signed "A") show very considerable skill, while others are not nearly so good. I think he also worked in oils ... p. 79.

Of London. Exd. at the R.A., 1797-1823.

- Graves R.A.

Cf. Acres, John Edward.

Comm. Melvill A. Jamieson has a small rectangular miniature portrait by Acres of the latter's daughter, Mrs. Santer, a singer at Drury Lane and Vauxhall, who married a Mr. Dalton. It was ptd. about 181[4?]. It is a fairly good miniature; the face is ptd. mostly with a stippling touch.

Acres, John Edward.

Studied at the Royal Academy. Went in 1815 to Sydney, Cape Breton County, to see about an inheritance. Was at Halifax, N.S., c. 1815-1816; returned to Sydney c. 1817 and to Halifax before 1823. Was apparently ptg. miniatures at Halifax in 1826; committed suicide there soon after.

— T. Bolton

The above artist may have been identical with Edward Acres, for the latter did not exhibit at the Royal Academy between and ... ; however, he (Edward Acres) was apparently at London addresses, 821-....

[Basil Somerset Long, British miniaturists (Holland press, London 1966), p. 1]

  Probably was J. Acres, a miniature painter of London 1800-13, who exhibited 8 portraits at RA ...

[J. Russell Harper, Early painters and engravers in Canada, (University of Toronto Press, 1970), p. 2]

(3) Vide notice dated 13th September, in N.S. Royal Gazette of 25th October, 1815, 26th June, 1816, etc.: and catalogue of art exhibit, Provincial Exhibition, Halifax, 1909. ...

[Source: Harry Piers,  "Artists in Nova Scotia", Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, v. 18 (1914), pp. 120-121.]..

Return to the Samuel Sparrow Home Page