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Ann G. Morton, artist known for abstract canvases and geometric compositions, dies

Ann George Morton “was a grand lady. Her dignity was laced with an extravagant generosity of spirit, an unwavering positive outlook, and an undying sense of humor,” her daughter, the Rev. Ann Copp of Roland Park, wrote.
Ann George Morton “was a grand lady. Her dignity was laced with an extravagant generosity of spirit, an unwavering positive outlook, and an undying sense of humor,” her daughter, the Rev. Ann Copp of Roland Park, wrote.

Ann G. Morton, an artist who was known for her large abstract canvases, died March 24 of pneumonia at her Homeland residence. She was 100.

The former Ann George, daughter of Gen. C.P. George, a career Army officer, and his wife, Permila George, a homemaker, was born at the former Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, and raised at various Army installations around the country.

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Ms. Morton was a direct descendant of Chief White Plume of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma, and her maternal grandfather, Charles Curtis, who was born on the Kaw reservation, served as Republican vice president under President Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1933.

“He remains the highest ranking enrolled Native American to serve in the federal government," wrote a daughter, the Rev. Ann Copp of Roland Park, in a biographical profile of her mother.

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She was a graduate of St. Mary’s Hall in San Francisco and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1940 from then-Hollins College.

In 1944, she married Edward Harrison Humphreys, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he co-owned and managed Humphreys Mills. After her husband’s death in 1956, she entered the Memphis College of Art, where she earned a master’s degree.

In 1968, she married Copeland “Copie” Morton Jr., secretary of the Maryland Casualty Insurance Co., and moved to Homeland. He died in 1994.

Ms. Morton continued studying art at what is now Notre Dame of Maryland University and paint under the direction of Gladys H. Goldstein, a noted Mount Washington abstract painter who was known for her unusual handling of light in her work.

While recognized for her abstract canvases and geometric compositions, Ms. Morton never publicly exhibited or sold her work. “Instead, she painted for the challenge of composition and the sheer joy of color,” her daughter wrote.

A longtime member of the Hardy Garden Club, Ms. Morton loved flowers and was an accomplished flower arranger.

Since the 1920s, when she was a child, she spent four months each year at a second home in Siasconset village on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, where she enjoyed entertaining family and friends.

“She was a grand lady. Her dignity was laced with an extravagant generosity of spirit, an unwavering positive outlook, and an undying sense of humor,” her daughter wrote.

Physically active, Ms. Morton enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and participated in water aerobics at the Meadowbrook Swim Club until she was 98.

A month shy of her 101st birthday, Ms. Morton did not follow any particular regimen in earning centenarian status.

“She didn’t drink a lot of alcohol, but wasn’t abstemious," her daughter said in a telephone interview. “She ate everything and liked dining at The Elkridge Club.”

Ms. Morton had attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Owings Mills and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton and at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, where her daughter had been rector for six years.

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Plans for a memorial service to be held at a later date are incomplete.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Curtis Humphreys of Dallas; another daughter, Janie Humphreys of Nova Scotia; two stepdaughters, Sally Morton of Baltimore and Marianne Morton of Madison, Wisconsin; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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