Morton Traylor was born in Petersburg, Virginia on April 6,1918. His art career began at Los Angeles City College in California. He attended Chouinard Art Institute for two years, holding scholarships won in competition. While at Chouinard, Traylor was introduced to Rico Lebrun, who taught life drawing.
Traylor entered the Navy in 1942 where he became an aviation radio man and stationed with a Blimp Squadron in Brazil. While in service his work was exhibited at the Civic Service Club in Jacksonville, Florida in 1943, and later at Moffett Field, California in 1945. A group of his paintings were then shown at Los Angeles City College in 1946.
Traylor was invited to attend École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of the Fine Arts) in Paris, France. Traylor exhibited in the Palais de New York, where he received much praise and a number of newspaper mentions. After returning to Los Angeles, Traylor attended Jepson Art Institute where he later taught classes along with Rico Lebrun and Francis de Erdely. Traylor helped Rico Lebrun work on the final work of the Crucifixion in 1950 which is now currently on display at Syracuse University.
During the 1950s, Traylor also worked as an artist for national comic strips Ella Cinders, Napoleon and Tarzan. He also did commercial work for Northrop Aviation. Traylor was one of 50 artists represented in the book "Prints by California Artists" edited by T. V. Roelof-Lanner. During this time, Traylor exhibited his works nationally in the San Francisco Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Art Museum, Los Angeles County Art Museum and National Serigraph Society in New York City.
In 1960, Morton Traylor and his wife Maxine moved to Virginia where the couple designed and built thier home in Crozet, Virginia. Traylor exhibited in the area and taught at Holden School of Art. He then opened The Virginia Art Institute in 1965 and it closed in 1975.
The Traylors moved to Days Creek, Oregon in 1985 and they spent his remaining years painting and exhibiting. Morton Traylor passed away April 28,1996. His work can be found worldwide in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Art, Georgia Museum of Art and The British Museum.