Ross E. Braught (1898-1983)

IMG_1159

Ross E. Braught (1898-1983). Gaia, 1936. Unique study print. Zinc lithograph on paper, plate measures 11 x 14 inches; sheet measures 12 1/8 x 18 inches.  Sheet is not glued down. Signed, dated, titled lower margin. Some toning and matte burn at margins. Foxing in area just below crescent moon and at elbow of tree limb.

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Biography:

Birth place: Carlisle, PA

Death place: Phila., PA?

Addresses: Woodstock, NY; Kansas City, MO

Profession: Painter, lithographer, teacher

Studied: PAFA, with Joseph T. Pearson, Jr., and in Europe.

Exhibited: PAFA, 1922-34, 1939; Corcoran Gal, 1923-32; AIC, 1923-24, 1926; Kansas City AI, 1934, (prize); Midwestern Artists, 1935, 1936, (prize); Mystic AA; Salons of Am.; S.Indp.A.; WMAA, 1948; Kansas City, MO, 1951 (first solo)

Work: PAFA; Beach Mem. Coll., Storrs, Conn.; William Rockhill Nelson Gal. A.; WMAA; murals, Music Hall, Kansas City, MO; San Juan, PR

Comments: Painted in Mystic, CT in the 1920s; Virgin Islands, 1836-37; Dutch Guiana, 1839-47 Position: hd., painting dept., Kansas City AI, 1931-36, 1948-.

In the early 1920’s, Ross Braught began studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. While at the Academy, he studied under Daniel Garber. In 1921 he was awarded the prestigious Emlem Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship. Under the scholarship, he traveled to England and to Italy where he spent time in Florence and Venice.
In 1923, the artist married and the couple made their home in Upper Black Eddy, Delaware until 1928. During this time Braught exhibited regularly at galleries including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Dudensing Galleries, New York where he had a one-man show.Braught moved to Woodstock, New York, in 1928 where he became a member of the Woodstock art colony. In 1931, the artist was in debt and took a job as the head of the painting department at the Kansas City Art Institute. He taught studio classes between 1931 and 1936 at the Institute and traveled during the summer months on sketching trips to the Dakota Badlands, the Grand Canyon, and the Colorado Rockies.

Braught left the Art Institute in 1936 and was replaced by Thomas Hart Benton, who regarded Braught as “probably the greatest draftsman of his generation”. He went to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Later that year, he accepted a position at Cornell University where he taught for three years. Late in 1939, Braught returned with his family to Tortola taking up residence in a hotel for seven years.

During this time he traveled to Dutch Guiana to gather material for a mural he was working on at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. In 1946, Braught returned to the Kansas City Art Institute where he taught until 1962. It is not known whether he retired from the Institute or was fired. However, he moved to Philadelphia leaving his wife in Kansas City.

After the move back to Philadelphia until his death in 1983, Braught seemed to disappear. He had no contact with family and friends many of whom tried unsuccessfully to locate him. The only known address was a post office box and, aside from some pieces he sent to a Kansas City Art Institute exhibition in the early 1960’s, he did not show his work.