Our cover this month, Sir Cedric Morris’ “Bitterns” (353/4 in. by 293/4 in.), sold for $35,415 at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale in London on June 26, 2015. Morris is particularly recognized for his highly decorative still lifes of birds and flowers.
Morris, who succeeded to his father’s baronetcy, had quite the range of occupations, leaving Wales at the age of 17 to work on a farm in Canada, with brief stints as a dishwasher and bellboy in New York, before returning across the pond to study singing at the Royal College of Music in London. In April 1914, he set off for Paris to pursue painting, but World War I interrupted that career.
After extensive travels throughout Europe, Morris and his partner, the painter Arthur Lett-Haines, opened their own school of painting and drawing in England. The school was described as “anti-academic” and “nontraditional,” in the sense that students were encouraged to allow feelings to trump visual perception in their works, but it produced a handful of well-recognized artists. After a fire destroyed the first school, they re-established it at a farmhouse.
If Morris’ school of thought is any indication, it’s possible to successfully attain goals while still being innovative. Volatile markets and ever changing laws mean that estate planners are often tasked with planning for the unpredictable. Advisors need to keep in mind the role that a client’s family plays in such plans. Whether it’s by taking a multigenerational approach or advising clients on preemptive planning of leadership succession in a family business, advisors must embrace new strategies to acclimate to evolving family needs.