Ross Moffett from the Permanent Collection

March 17 - May 7, 2017

Curated by:
Christine McCarthy
Opening Reception:
Friday, April 7, 6pm

About the Exhibition

Born on February 2, 1888 in Clearfield, Iowa, Ross Moffett began his studies at the Cummins Art School of Des Moines in 1907.  In 1908, he transferred to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (now known as the Art Institute of Chicago) and studied with John Vanderpool and Harry Wallcott. He then studied with Charles Hawthorne, in Provincetown, Massachusetts in the summer of 1913.  In 1914, he continued his studies at the Art Students League of New York, returning to Provincetown to establish his career as an artist in 1915.

Moffett married artist Dorothy Lake Gregory, best known as a printmaker and illustrator of children’s books and magazines, in 1920, in Brooklyn, New York.  Moffett and Gregory met while studying in Provincetown under Charles Hawthorne.

In 1924, after serving in the United States Army and traveling across Europe, Ross Moffett returned to Provincetown, Massachusetts and became a member of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM).

Moffett had his first one-man show at the Frank Rehn Gallery in New York and at The Art Institute of Chicago in 1928.  Between 1932 and 1933, he taught at the University of Miami in Ohio and, in 1942, Moffett became a full member of the National Academy of Design.  Moffett painted four murals in two Massachusetts post offices for the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) between 1936 and 1938.

Moffett became interested in archaeology in the 1950s, delivered a few lectures on the subject, and wrote an article for American Antiquity entitled “A Shell Heap Site on Griffin Island, Wellfleet, Massachusetts” which appeared in Volume 28 No 1.  In 1954, he was chosen, along with another artist, to paint murals of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s civilian life for the new Eisenhower Memorial Foundation Museum by the National Academy of Design.

In 1960, Moffett joined the movement to establish acreage known as the Province Lands as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park.  He wrote and published a definitive history of the first thirty-three years of the Provincetown Art Association in a book titled Art in Narrow Streets in 1964. He continued serving as a juror for the Provincetown Art Association and, in 1970, was artist-in-residence for the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Moffett died of cancer on March 13, 1971, in Provincetown, Massachusetts and is buried at the Provincetown cemetery next to his wife, Dorothy who died in 1975.