Alberto Morrocco

(1917 - 1998)

Morrocco was born in Aberdeen on 14th December 1917, son of Italian Immigrants. Between 1932 and 1938 he studied at the local Gray’s school of Art. Having graduated he travelled extensively throughout continental Europe, in particular to France and Italy where he absorbed the work of the avant garde, in particular Braques and Picasso as well as other Fauvists such as Matisse. The influence of their bold and vivid use of unmixed colour is clearly evident in Morrocco’s, particularly the style life compositions.

Following the outbreak of World War two, Morrocco was held prisoner, due to his Italian heritage, in Edinburgh, but was soon released and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a conscientious objector. Following the war he settled in Dundee where he was appointed head of art at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of art, which is now part of Dundee University.

Morrocco had an extraordinary work ethic, producing a large body of work in spite of his teaching commitments, and continued to paint long into retirement. He was a fine portrait painter and received commissions to paint many of the Dundee University Principles as well as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother as chancellor. Morroco was an accomplished mural painter and was commissioned by both St. Columbia’s church, Glenrothes and the Liff hospital in Dundee.

His contribution to Scottish art was recognised with numerous awards including the Guthrie and Carnegie from the Royal Scottish Academy, of whom he was appointed Fellow in 1962. He also received honourary Doctorates from both Dundee and Stirling university and was appointed OBE in 1993.

His works can be seen in museums in: Edinburgh, The Royal Scottish Academy; Aberdeen City Art Gallery; Glasgow, Hunterian Art Gallery; Dundee Museum; Paisley Museum and Art Gallery; Kirkcaldy Galleries; London, The Fleming Collection.