Adam Sherriff Scott was born in Perth, Scotland in 1887. Beginning in 1903 he studied at the Edinburgh School of Art. He was awarded the Allen-Fraser Scholarship to continue his studies for four years at the Allen-Fraser institute, under George Harcourt. He continued his studies at the Slade School under Henry Tonks as well as at the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery.
In 1912, he moved to Brandon, Manitoba, shortly after relocating to Calgary, Alberta. There he worked on commission painting landscape scenes being sold to real estate agents.
In 1915, he moved to Montréal and became a member of Beaver Hall Hill Group, which included such artists as Lilias Torrance Newton, Randolph Hewton, Edwin Holgate and Robert Pilot. He was commissioned to paint numerous portraits, as well as posters for the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Southam Press. Scott served with the Canadian armed forces in World War One.
During the 1920's, Scott spent six years living with an Inuit community and painted a variety of scenes depicting their lives.
He established the Adam Sherrif-Scott School of Fine Art, where he taught drawing and painting.
Scott was elected an associate of The Royal Canadian Academy in 1935 and a full member in 1944.
He died in 1980.