TABLE OF CONTENTSCollection Summary
W. Scott & Sons fonds:
W. Scott & Sons was established in Montreal in 1859 by William Scott (1831-1904), who was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1858. Scott first settled in Kingston, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth Clarke. The couple were married at the First Baptist Church in Montreal, Quebec, on April 9, 1859, and over the next several years had four sons: Walter Abraham (1860-1944), William Wilson (1864-1910), and two others who died in infancy; and four daughters: Gertrude Anna (1867-1949), Sara Bell (1869-1939), Olive May (1877-1895), and Mary Elena (1879-1958).
In Kingston, Scott also met Augustus James Pell, an art dealer with whom he formed one of his first partnerships. The pair opened a workshop under the name "A.J. Pell & Company" at 14 Bonaventure Street in Montreal on April 16, 1859, a business that lasted two years. The same year, at age 28, Scott opened his own firm "W. Scott & Sons," one of the first art galleries in Montreal. The gallery was originally located at 99 Notre Dame Street West and started out as a workshop, producing and selling mirrors, framing, sculptures, gilding, and more. In 1862 Scott officially started his art business, selling works of art from the United Kingdom and Europe.
Frank Robert Heaton (1866-1939) from Leeds, England, the son of an Anglican minister, began working for W. Scott & Sons after immigrating to Canada in 1887. At the time, the company consisted of William Scott and his son Abraham. Heaton later became a partner, along with his brother William Heaton, and in 1891, married William Scott's daughter, Gertrude. Frank Heaton managed the business in the prosperous days, when important private collections in Montreal were being formed. He eventually took over the firm after William Scott's death in 1904. In 1913, after graduating from McGill University, Frank Heaton's son John joined the firm, where he worked until his departure in 1914 to fight overseas in the First World War. John Heaton resumed his work at the gallery in 1919 and officially became a partner the following year. In 1927 John replaced his father, when he left the gallery because of poor health.
In 1892 the Scott Galleries held the first of a series of annual exhibitions. Paintings for the exhibitions were brought over from the French Gallery in London by W.L. Peacock, and shown alongside Dutch paintings and other European works. In October 1909 the gallery held the first one-man show by the Irish painter Sir John Lavery (1856-1941). The exhibition included his painting Mary in Green, which was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada for $3,500. In 1930, following the trend of other commercial enterprises, W. Scott & Sons moved from 99 Notre Dame Street to a new gallery at 1490 Drummond Street in Montreal. In 1934 the gallery started a series of annual exhibitions of nineteenth and twentieth century French masters in conjunction with Alex Reid and Lefevre Limited in London, England, which were brought to Montreal by John Heaton. The exhibitions displayed some of the first works by Matisse, Modigliani, Léger, Braque, Derain, Dufy, and Picasso seen in the city.
In September 1938, as a result of decreasing sales brought on by the stock market crash of 1929, the gallery moved to a smaller location at 1316 Sherbrooke Street West in Montreal, selling off their entire inventory at auction. A display of contemporary British paintings was W. Scott & Son's final exhibit before the gallery was closed in 1939, after eighty years in existence.
The first accrual of the fonds consists of correspondence relating to the firm of W. Scott & Sons and The Hague School artists, including Sir John Lavery (1856-1940), Willem Bastiaan Tholen (1860-1931), and Jozef Israëls (1824-1911). Also included is a sketchbook of drawings by Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch (1824-1903), which includes a loose photograph and an assignat for 25 livres issued by the République Française June 6, 1793. The second accrual consists of one scrapbook containing magazine and newspaper clippings pertaining to exhibitions at W. Scott & Sons and to artists whose works were shown at the gallery.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: The first accrual was donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Alison H. Wilson, 2008. The second accrual was donated by Maaritta Maavara, former manager of Continental Galleries, Montreal, in 2012.
Terms governing use and reproductions: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the W. Scott & Sons fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Related groups of records: The National Gallery of Canada fonds contains correspondence between W. Scott & Sons and the National Gallery. The Homer Watson fonds contains correspondence between W. Scott & Sons and Homer Watson.
Language: Text is mainly in English. Some items are in French.
Finding aids: Series level descriptions and box list available.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Kira A. Brown in 2011. The second accrual was processed and described by Philip Dombowsky in 2012.
[Title of item], W. Scott & Sons fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources
Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
P.O. Box 427, Station A
Detailed Description of the Collection