Desmond Morris War Woman Dated 19th September 1949 © Desmond Morris


Born 1928
Nationality British
Birth place Purton

Morris gained an international reputation as an author, broadcaster and zoologist. He is perhaps best known for his work relating to human behaviour and his book ‘The Naked Ape’, published in 1967. Morris studied Zoology at The University of Birmingham, worked at the Zoological Society of London and presented the 1950s TV show ‘Zoo Time’. However, he also gained recognition as a surrealist artist. Although primarily a painter, Morris also wrote and directed two surrealist films and organised an exhibition of paintings by chimpanzees at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (I.C.A.) in 1957. He went on to be director at the I.C.A. from 1967-8. In comparison to his zoological work, of which Morris described that he was “a slave to the actual”, painting allowed him freedom and creativity.