Richard H. Morton, 81, award-winning artist

Richard H. Morton, an award-winning artist who worked primarily in watercolors, died in his sleep Sunday at his home in Aberdeen. He was 81 and had emphysema.

Born in Dallas, Mr. Morton served in the Army during World War II and then studied art at the Pratt Institute in New York City. He taught art at several universities in the Southwest as well as in Mexico, and had his own art school in Oklahoma. He went on to work as a civilian graphic artist for the Army in Oklahoma before being transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1980.


A lover of landscapes, Mr. Morton always worked on location, creating scenes of Maryland, the Southwest and Europe. Drawings he made while in the Army are on display in the Brown University Library Military Collection. His watercolors have been on exhibit at the Pratt Institute and the former Oklahoma Art Center, now the Oklahoma City Art Museum.

Mr. Morton's work in transparent watercolors was honored at national juried exhibitions.


He was an active member of Artists' Equity and the Harford Artists' Association.

Services were held Thursday.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, the former Sara Frances Purdy; a son, Shelby Morton of Norman, Okla.; a stepson, David Dixon of Germantown; two daughters, Teresa Ann Morton of Riverside, Calif., and Elizabeth Lee Morton of Aberdeen; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

His marriage to the former Jean Haley ended in divorce.