Scott was included in a survey exhibition of British painting from 1720 to 1960, organised by the British Council, which opened at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, on 4 May. The following month it was shown at the Hermitage in Leningrad (now St Petersburg).
William Scott opened at the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hannover on 2 June (closed 17 July). It toured to three other cities in Germany: Freiburg, Dortmund and Munich. The exhibition was mostly selected from the work of the past three years but also included a few paintings from the 1930s and 1940s.
Scott was represented in Das junge England, an exhibition of paintings at the Galerie Würthle, Vienna. The exhibition was opened by the British Ambassador to Austria, Sir James Bowker. It included works by Alan Davie, Derrick Greaves and Bryan Wynter.
Timothy Simon of Curwen Prints invited Scott to pursue lithographic printmaking. Stanley Jones, the master printer at Curwen Studio, helped Scott explore the possibilities of stone lithography and together they made the print Arran, a prelude to a more ambitious series of lithographs undertaken the following year.
William Scott Paintings and Gouache’s opened at Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles, on 9 January (closed 11 February). Scott did not attend the opening. Of the 21 works shown 11 were oils. The short catalogue introduction was written by John Anthony Thwaites, an English critic based in Germany.
Scott was one of the judges for a competition held at the Young Contemporaries’ show in the R.B.A. Galleries, London, for a mural for Courtaulds. The other judges were Carel Weight and Keith Vaughan; the commission went to Alan Jones.
Scott was one of 15 artists to join in supporting the playwright Arnold Wesker (the artistic director of Centre 42, a cultural movement for popularising the arts) in his campaign to interest the trade unions in the arts. The other artists were: Henry Moore, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth, Keith Vaughan, Ivon Hitchens, Julian Trevelyan, Edward Bawden, Sidney Nolan, Derrick Greaves, F.E. McWilliam, Leonard Rosoman, Michael Ayrton, Peter Lanyon and Feliks Topolski. They joined a group of 25 artists already supporting Wesker’s campaign.
The Scotts bought a new house, 13 Edith Terrace, Chelsea, a few minutes’ walk from their flat in Edith Grove.
William Scott opened at the Hanover Gallery on 17 May (closed 17 June). It was the artist’s first one-man show in England for five years and included 21 oils and 7 gouaches. The catalogue introduction was by John Russell.
Scott was one of four artists chosen by the British Council to represent their country at the ‘VI Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo’. The other three were Peter Lanyon, Lynn Chadwick (sculpture and drawings) and Merlyn Evans (prints). The exhibition toured South America in various forms: works by Scott and Evans were shown at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro (25 January–25 February 1962), and Scott and Chadwick shared an exhibition at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (14–29 April 1962). Scott was awarded the acquisition prize.
An exhibition of Mark Rothko’s paintings, previously shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, opened at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, on 10 October (closed November). Rothko arrived a week ahead of the opening presumably to oversee the hanging for which he had provided detailed written instructions. According to Mary Scott’s diary, they dined with him at the Etoile in Soho on 2 October.
The Arts Council of Great Britain touring exhibition, Drawing Towards Painting, opened at the Leicester Art Gallery, London, on 21 October (it closed a year later on 13 October 1962). The exhibition, which was organised by David Sylvester and seen in 12 venues in the UK, included 9 drawings by Scott.
Scott took part in the International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery 1890–1961 organised by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum and shown at Goldsmiths’ Hall, Cheapside, London. The exhibition opened on 26 October (closed 2 December).
The mural Scott had painted for the entrance hall of the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry went on view at the Tate Gallery on 28 November prior to its installation in the hospital. The mural remained on display throughout December.
In addition to the mural, Scott was commissioned by the architect Eugene Rosenberg (of Yorke Rosenberg and Mardall) to design curtain material for Altnagelvin Hospital. The linen textile was called Whithorn and was printed in 1961. The production was given to the Edinburgh Weavers and the cloth was printed at Stead McAlpin, a Carlisle-based printworks.
A handsomely illustrated article on Scott by Robert Melville appeared in the Winter issue of Motif 8, a thrice-yearly magazine of the visual arts edited by Ruari McLean.
The mural for Altnagelvin Hospital arrived in Londonderry on 15 January. On 27 February the mural was officially unveiled by Mary Scott. The public response to the piece, composed of abstract motifs, was one of bewilderment.
Illness appears to have prevented the artist from painting for a while.
William Scott 20 Gouaches 1952 opened at the Hanover Gallery on 2 May (closed 1 June).
A rug designed by Scott was included in an exhibition at the ICA, London, which opened in early May (closed 12 May). It was one of 11 rugs designed by contemporary artists and made at the Blackfriars Settlement, a charity based in Nelson Square, London. The other artists taking part in the scheme were John Ernest, John McHale, John Plumb, Joe Tilson and William Turnbull.
On 3 June the Scotts left for the south of France. In Nice they met up with Marie-Christine Treinen (the young French artist who, ten years earlier, had made such an impression on the staff and students at Corsham), before moving on to Italy in time for the opening of the Venice Biennale. They returned to England at the end of the month.
Scott was included in Art from 1900 to the Present Day, the opening exhibition of the new Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts in Vienna (21 September–4 November).
William Scott Paintings 1952–1962 opened at the Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, on 25 September (closed 20 October). Included were 15 oils on canvas and works on paper in various media. The catalogue introduction was by Alan Bowness.
David Anderson, the son of Martha Jackson, opened the Galerie Anderson-Mayer at 15 rue de l’Echaudé, Paris. His business partner was a fellow American, Jack Mayer. On 12 November, the Scotts went over to Paris for a party given that evening to celebrate the opening; the gallery put on a small mixed show in which Scott was represented by two paintings.
Scott was one of 50 painters and sculptors included in British Art Today, an exhibition of contemporary British painting and sculpture organised by the San Francisco Museum of Art that opened on 13 November to coincide with San Francisco’s London Week (closed 16 December). The exhibition travelled to the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts (15 January–17 February 1963) and Santa Barbara Museum of Art (7 March–7 April 1963).
Scott accepted a teaching post at the Royal Academy Schools. The appointment was reported in the Evening Standard (16 November): ‘William Scott, the distinguished painter, has agreed to teach at the Royal Academy Schools. As he does not like to be tied down to teaching either frequently or regularly, he will be making sporadic appearances about four times a term.’
In the course of 1963, Ronald Alley’s small monograph William Scott was published by Methuen. It was the first book to appear on the artist.
Scott was represented in the European Community Contemporary Painting Exhibition (Marzotto Prize) which opened at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, on 7 March (closed 4 April). This was the only UK showing of a European tour of paintings submitted for six prizes. The competition, financed by the Italian textile manufacturer Count Gaetano Marzotto, took place in Europe every two years. This was the first time Britain had been included and the international panel of ten judges included two British art world luminaries, Herbert Read and Roland Penrose. The first prize went to the Chilean-born painter Roberto Matta for his painting La Question Djamilia. Besides Scott, the British artists included Peter Lanyon, R.B. Kitaj, Joe Tilson and Victor Pasmore.
British Painting in the Sixties, featuring three works by Scott, opened on 1 June at the Tate Gallery and the Whitechapel Art Gallery (closed 30 June) in London. Because of its size the exhibition, which was organised by the Contemporary Art Society (CAS), was shown simultaneously at both galleries. The division was made roughly according to age, with most of the younger painters shown at the Whitechapel. A part of the selection later travelled to Manchester City Art Gallery, Glasgow City Art Gallery and the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. In September, the same selection was shown at the Helmhaus, Zurich, during the Federation of British Industries Fortnight, the first time a CAS exhibition had been sent abroad.
William Scott Recent Paintings opened at the Hanover Gallery, London, on 5 June (closed 6 July). The catalogue lists 24 oils painted between 1962 and 1963.
In a letter dated 5 July, Moritz von Bomhard, Consulate to the Ford Foundation, invited Scott to be an Artist in Residence in Berlin. Von Bomhard was following up an initial approach made the previous month through the Hanover Gallery by the Comité des Arts du Congrès pour la Liberté de la Culture in Paris.
Victor Pasmore/William Scott opened at the Kunsthalle in Berne on 12 July (closed 18 August). The catalogue lists 54 works by Scott in various media. The Scotts went over for the opening, arriving in Berne on 10 July. On 14 July they drove over the Simplon Pass to Orta where they stayed for several days, returning to London via Paris on 24 July.
Mary Scott’s diary records the purchase of Bennett’s Hill Farm. The property, a dairy and grazing farm set in 64 acres, was in Coleford, a village in the Mendip Hills, five miles west of Frome in Somerset. It had originally been offered for auction on 31 August 1962 but the bid made by the Scotts failed to secure it. A second attempt to buy the farm the following month also failed, so it was with some satisfaction that Mary Scott wrote in her diary on 27 July 1963, ‘Farm now ours.’ The largest of the barns was turned into Scott’s studio.
William Scott opened at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, on 12 September (closed 5 October). The exhibition was organised in association with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and was selected by Anne Crookshank, Keeper of Art at the museum. The majority of the 70 works listed in the catalogue had travelled to Belfast from the exhibition held in Berne in July. The Scotts went over to Belfast before the opening, spending a couple of days with the Northern Irish collector Sir John Heygate, at Bellarena, not far from Londonderry.
An exhibition of ten paintings opened in Paris at the Galerie Anderson-Mayer, on 29 October (closed 23 November).
The Dyer Bequest was opened by Bryan Robertson at the City Art Gallery, Bristol, on 7 November. The Bequest consisted of eight large paintings painted in the previous three years by contemporary British artists and bought by Bristol out of money left by L.R. Dyer, a local benefactor. One of the paintings was Scott’s Black, Grey and Blue, 1960, recently exhibited in Berne and Belfast.
The Scotts arrived in Berlin on 13 November, staying in a large apartment at 33 Dahlem, Podbielskiallee 58. Scott was one of several recipients of a Ford Foundation grant (and among the first artists to participate in the Artists in Residence programme); others included André Masson, Emilio Vedova and, for January 1964 only, Antonio Saura from Spain. Writers included Piers Paul Read and W.H. Auden (who arrived when the Scotts were leaving), and Iannis Xenakis, Elliott Carter, Hans-Werner Henze and Roger Sessions were among the composers.
Scott became friendly with the distinguished art dealer Rudolf Springer who had a gallery on the Kurfürstendamm. Springer exhibited the work of a number of Ford Foundation Fellows such as Vedova and Piero Dorazio. He also owned several gouaches by Scott, presumably bought directly from the artist.
Scott participated in 54–64 Painting and Sculpture of a Decade, which opened at the Tate Gallery on 22 April (closed 28 June). The exhibition was selected by Alan Bowness, Lawrence Gowing and Philip James, and organised by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; 160 living artists were represented, and their works hung in order of the artists’ dates of birth. Scott showed five large oils painted between 1954 and 1962.
Scott was represented in Documenta III, which opened in Kassel on 27 June (closed 5 October). Scott showed five works painted between 1960 and 1963.
Scott turned down an invitation from Professor Dr Hans Fegers to teach at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart.
Scott took part in Stadien und Impulse, which opened at the Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, on 11 September (closed 25 October).
Scott was represented in Britische Malerei der Gegenwart, which opened at the Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, on 30 October (closed 5 December).
Alan Bowness’s monograph, William Scott, was published by Percy Lund, Humphries & Co. Ltd. It remained the main reference book on Scott until the publication of Norbert Lynton’s monograph in 2004. The book, which included contributions from two foreign authors, Michel Ragon and Werner Schmalenbach, was well received (Schmalenbach’s essay was a reprint of the introduction he had written for the catalogue of Scott’s exhibition at Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, in June–July 1960).
The Scotts left Berlin for good and returned to London.
William Scott Recent Paintings opened at the Hanover Gallery on 28 September (closed 22 October).
Scott travelled to Hamburg to take up his post as a visiting professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste. Scott had been approached by the Director of the Hamburg art school several years before, asking him to accept the post of ‘Guest Professor’. Nothing seems to have come of that initiative but the school persisted, and in June 1965 the Director wrote to Scott expressing his delight that the artist had accepted the invitation to teach during the winter term. (The winter term began on 19 October and ended on 15 March 1966. The artist’s diary shows that he travelled to Hamburg four times between December 1965 and March 1966).
Scott was included in Private View, Lord Snowdon’s celebrated look at the 1960s British art world. The texts on the artists were written by the critic John Russell and Bryan Robertson (director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery), but the publication was dominated by Snowdon’s photography. The book was divided into four parts: a survey of the background to the period between 1945 and 1965; artists ‘whose reputation was well in hand by 1950 or 1955’; the machinery of the art world, and lastly, artists who had gained recognition in the past few years. The text on Scott, who was included in the second part, was written by John Russell and accompanied by two photographs of Scott in his London studio, one in colour, the other in black-and-white.
Scott was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year’s Honours List. The investiture took place on 15 March.
Scott worked on a new series of six lithographs, Odeon Suite, which was printed by Matthieu AG in Zurich. The series, named after the Odeon Café in Zurich, was published in London the following year by Editions Alecto. The artist travelled back and forth to Zurich while proofing the series.
The Dublin-based architect Ronald Tallon approached Scott on behalf of the firm Michael Scott and Partners to say they were putting forward a proposal to the Radió Telefís Éireann (RTE) Authority to have works by Irish artists in the Authority’s new headquarters at Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin. Scott responded to the commission by designing a large abstract painting which was hung in the entrance foyer of the administration building.
The artist was awarded the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prize at the 5th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo. The British section of this touring exhibition was assembled by the British Council. The exhibition opened at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, in December 1966 (closed 22 January 1967). It moved on to the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto (closed 19 February).
William Scott: Exhibition of Oil Paintings opened at the Dawson Gallery, Dublin, on 19 January (closed 7 February). Among the 25 works included in the exhibition were a number of large canvases painted between 1961 and 1966.
Scott completed the mural for the RTE Authority, outside Dublin, commissioned by the firm Michael Scott and Partners.
W. Scott Paintings 1967 opened at the Hanover Gallery on 17 October (closed 10 November).
Recent British Painting: Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Collection opened at the Tate Gallery on 15 November (closed 22 December). In 1964 the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation invited Lilian Somerville (Director, Fine Art Department, British Council), Alan Bowness (Senior Lecturer in the History of Art, Courtauld Institute, University of London) and Norman Reid (Director, Tate Gallery) to make a collection of recent British art. Scott was represented by two large paintings, Circles Diminishing, 1961 and Blue Form on White, 1964.
Scott was invited by the Art Centre Foundation in Lusaka to take part in an initiative to promote art and design in Zambia. The Art Centre Foundation was set up by the Anglo American Corporation (Central Africa) Limited, a mining company, in consultation with the Zambian Ministry of Co-operatives, Youth and Social Development. The aim of the foundation was to help Zambian artists mount exhibitions of their work, to provide bursaries and scholarships, and to arrange national and international exhibitions of art. Scott was accompanied by William Brooker and Ronald Alley (Tate Gallery). The plan provided for at least 60 works of art by Scott and Brooker to be flown to Zambia as well ‘as others which may be considered suitable’. No details have been found of which works were sent. Scott left for the eight-day trip on 10 September.
He obviously intended to visit Egypt on the way back as his passport contains a visa issued on 29 August 1968 by the Consulate General of the United Arab Republic. Whether or not he paid a quick visit to Cairo remains uncertain. An entry in Mary Scott’s diary for 18 September reads: ‘M [Mary] goes to Cairo’ but is crossed out. If Scott did go to Cairo it must have been a lightening visit as a hotel booking confirmation shows that the couple arrived separately in Athens between 21 and 22 September. They visited Delphi, Corinth and Nafplion before returning to London on 7 October.
Scott travelled to Ireland visiting Kilkenny, Glengariff, Westport, Donegal and Enniskillen, meeting up with old friends such as Kathleen Bridle and Joan Trimble. He also stayed with his friend Sir John Heygate at Bellarena, County Londonderry, before returning to London.
Martha Jackson died in California on 4 July. The following month her son, David Anderson, was appointed President of the Martha Jackson Gallery.
William Scott: Edinburgh Festival Exhibition of New Gouaches opened at the Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, on 22 August (closed 13 September).
Scott responded to an appeal from Sheelagh Flanagan, wife of the artist, Terence Flanagan, for a work of art to be contributed to an exhibition of Irish art in the Queen’s University art gallery, Dublin, ‘and sold in aid of the victims of the Belfast disturbances in August’. Rioting had broken out in Northern Ireland triggered by the Apprentice Boys’ Parade held on 12 August. This led to a three-day clash in the Bogside area of Belfast between the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the Irish Nationalist and Catholic residents in which seven people were killed and hundreds more wounded.
The National Portrait Gallery, London, asked Scott to sit for a portrait photograph. (The sitting took place at the studio of the appointed photographer, Godfrey Argent, on 13 February 1970.)
William Scott 24 Works on Paper opened at the Hanover Gallery on 6 November (closed 6 December). Many of the same works had been included in the exhibition at the Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, in August of the same year.
John Moores Liverpool 7 opened in Liverpool on 26 November (closed 26 January 1970). Scott was on the Selection Committee, together with Robyn Denny, R.B. Kitaj, Anthony Hill, Howard Hodgkin and Hugh Scrutton.