A landscape and portrait painter, Maurice Canning Wilks was born in Belfast in 1910. He attended Belfast School of Art. Still in his teens, he exhibited at the RHA and also at the Oireachtas. He was elected an associate of the Ulster Academy of Arts in 1935. He exhibited all over the world and is represented in many public and private collections including the Ulster Museum, Armagh County Museum and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.