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 Ross E. Moffett  (1888 - 1971)

About: Ross E. Moffett


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/California/Iowa      Known for: seascape, figure in landscape and abstract painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Ross Moffett
1888 (Clearfield, Iowa)
1971 (Provincetown, Massachusetts)


Often Known For
seascape, figure in landscape and abstract painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
At the time Charles W. Hawthorne had begun to surround himself with a glory still lingering in Provincetown today, Ross Moffett moved into this circle of light with primary attributes, which were to receive stimulation and refinement from Hawthorne. Moffett viewed Hawthorne's teaching from his own strongly individual vantage point, although he accepted it with natural respect.

The turning point for Moffett came in 1916, when he began to feel that he was discovering his own voice.  "I continued working, endeavoring to mine the vein I had uncovered.  My subject was life in Provincetown as observed it visually during my many walks in the town, particularly in the west section where the Portuguese flavor was especially manifested."

Extemporizing his statement about life through the virtuoso handling of the figure in the landscape, Moffett portrayed a world of bleak strength, fateful mood and stark poetry.  The sheer painting power of the forms and color Moffett used in these paintings seems to have been his most forceful statement about man and his fate. It is, moreover, expressed as only a painter can express it without loss to rhetoric.  Few American painters so successfully incorporated the figure in a landscape as Ross Moffett.

In 1932, Moffat participated in the first Whitney Museum Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting with an entry titled Provincetown Wharf.

Josephine del Deo, Outer Cape Auctions, www.outercapeartauctions
Bakkom Collection, St. Paul, Minnesota

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Clearfield, IA on Feb. 2, 1888. Moffett studied at the AIC and with Charles Hawthorne. He was active in the San Francisco Bay area art scene in the 1920s. He died in Provinceton, MA in March 1971. Member: NA. Exh: Berkeley League of FA, 1924, 1929. Murals: Holyoke (MA) and Somerville (MA) Post Offices.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
SF Chronicle, 1-27-1929; Who's Who in American Art 1936-70; Social Security Death Index (1940-2002).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from ACME Fine Art:
Ross Moffett

Art Institute of Chicago
Studied with John Vanderpool and Harry Wallcott until 1913
Studied with Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown in 1913
Art Students League, New York, 1914

French Gold Medal at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1927

National Academy of Design
American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers
National Society of Mural Painters

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