Symbols of order and harmony in the work of Marian Scott, 1931-1949


Brock, Ellison M. (Ellison Mary)




This thesis examines the themes of harmony and order in the work of Marian Scott during the period 1931-1949. It looks at three symbols — spiral, crystal and cell-caul — which were used to visually articulate these themes. The paper begins by exploring the Intellectual background of Scott's work by examining some of the influential forces In the artist's life in order to show their effect in shaping her quest for order and harmonious balance. The influences examined Include her husband, her circle of friends and the readings and artists which she has indicated as being Important in her development. These are presented against the backdrop of the political and art historical events of the 1930s and 1940s. The paper examines the paintings which preceded the pivotal work of this period, the Endocrinology mural, for evidence of the thematic development and use of symbols which are mentioned above. These themes and symbols which appear in Scott's work in an incipient form in the 1930s are precipitated in the mural Endocrinology. The symbols are examined both from a general perspective in order to show the history or ancestry of the symbol and from the particular context of the way in which they were used in Scott's paintings. A brief examination is made of the paintings done after the mural in order to trace the incorporation of the symbols in these paintings. In general, the thesis focuses on the forms in the artist's work and how they can be read as testaments of her belief in the presence of an underlying harmony and order.


Scott, Marian Dale, 1906-1993.




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Canadian Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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