Margaret Schroeder Morrish, 1893-1975, was a life long artist and world traveler. The cover of the Arcadia Press book on Fort Collins, Colorado, where Margaret Schroeder was born, shows a lady-like Margaret at her easel in a small group of Ft. Collins painters. She was neither dainty nor content. She even had a lion cub. And she didn’t stay long in Ft. Collins. She married Ross Morrish, and when he died suddenly in 1926, she packed up her two children and traveled across the United States to the Los Angeles area. She painted fire boats in New York harbor, red mesas in New Mexico, and oil rigs on Signal Hill in Long Beach.
At 60, she set off on a round the world trip, solo. She hitch-hiked in Africa to paint the pygmies, painted street markets in India, white sails on the Nile, Inca ruins in the Andes, the glaring blues and greens of Tahiti. She was invited to be the first person to stage a solo exhibition in the Tower Gallery in Los Angeles City Hall and in December, 1961, she had a second solo exhibit there as well.
Margaret’s 1958, 3X4 foot painting of Hong Kong harbor hung in her son’s Glendale house for 50 years, with L.A. smog in the outside air and pipe and cigarette smoke daily in the inside air. It was covered with a thin coating of yellow/brown nicotine and dust. As it was cleaned, sea gulls emerged covering the sky, figures showed up in the boats, and buildings became visible on the horizon. It’s painted with a palette knife as are many of her oils. It reflects her global wanderings and her lifelong enthusiasm for color and scene. It is one of hundreds of compositions which brings what she was privileged to see in person throughout the world to viewers around the world.