Ross Eugene Braught
Mnemosyne and Four Muses
Lithograph
Year: 1935
Size: 45.5×22.5in
Framed: 48×22.75x1in
COA provided
Signed, titled and dated by hand
Provenance: “Kansas City Collects KCAI” – Jan 5-26, 1986
Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery
Ref.: 924802-1062

1 in stock

Questions about this piece? Send us a message!

Product Page
SKU: 924802-1062 Categories: ,

History has not always been kind to the most deserving. Ross Eugene Braught (1898-1983), considered one of the premier artist of mid-twentieth century America, fell into relative obscurity by his self imposed isolation long before his death. It is difficult to understand how this could happen to an artist revered by his students who often called him “The Master” and considered “the greatest draftsman of our generation” by Thomas Hart Benton. Braught was not a self-promoter nor did he join artist societies. He was even reluctant to part with his works as each appeared to have a special meaning to him. He just wanted to draw and paint, preferring to isolate himself in beautiful secluded places inspired by his memories and emotional experiences.

Ross Braught was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and influenced by his father. also an accomplished artist. Ross showed early artistic talent and was accepted to study at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts which he attended from 1918 to 1921. After graduation he married Eugenia Alderson Osenton, a fellow artist who had studied with Robert Henri at the Art Students League in New York. The 1920s was a very productive period during which he produced many paintings which were exhibited widely receiving accolades from the critics and the public. In 1928 the Braughts moved to Woodstock, New York where he was an early productive member of the Art colony and during this time he mastered the art of lithography.

Following the heady years of the Roaring Twenties, by 1931 the Great Depression was really taking hold with no relief on the horizon. Ross Braught could no longer make a living simply by making art and accepted a position to teach at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI). Braught was head of the Painting Department at the KCAI from 1931 to 1935. In 1935 at the age of thirty-six, Braught resigned from the art institute stating, “Teaching demands much energy, much concentration, and much time which might be better put to creative work.” Upon his departure, his friend, Thomas Hart Benton, became the head of the department. In 1936 the Braughts moved to Tortola, BVI where the family remained until 1948. Financial difficulties, which had begun while in Woodstock, only intensified while isolated in the islands. Braught was forced to seek employment and between 1936 and 1939 during the school year returned to the States to teach at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. At the end of WWII Braught was recruited to return to teaching at the KCAI where he was held in high regard. He remained head of the painting department until his retirement in 1962 and twice during his tenure was acting president of the institute.

After retirement Braught returned to Philadelphia where he lived isolated, shunning contact with friends and former students who tried to find him. Although his painting production decreased significantly, he continued drawing until shortly before his death in 1983. It has been assumed that he live alone as a recluse, but in fact he lived with a former student from the KCAI, Joan Fai Shih, with whom he had a close and loving relationship. Joan died in 2007. After their deaths, previously unknown works have surfaced solidifying this true visionary genius place in the Pantheon of American Art.

Share

Other Artwork by Ross Eugene Braught

Description

History has not always been kind to the most deserving. Ross Eugene Braught (1898-1983), considered one of the premier artist of mid-twentieth century America, fell into relative obscurity by his self imposed isolation long before his death. It is difficult to understand how this could happen to an artist revered by his students who often called him “The Master” and considered “the greatest draftsman of our generation” by Thomas Hart Benton. Braught was not a self-promoter nor did he join artist societies. He was even reluctant to part with his works as each appeared to have a special meaning to him. He just wanted to draw and paint, preferring to isolate himself in beautiful secluded places inspired by his memories and emotional experiences.

Ross Braught was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and influenced by his father. also an accomplished artist. Ross showed early artistic talent and was accepted to study at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts which he attended from 1918 to 1921. After graduation he married Eugenia Alderson Osenton, a fellow artist who had studied with Robert Henri at the Art Students League in New York. The 1920s was a very productive period during which he produced many paintings which were exhibited widely receiving accolades from the critics and the public. In 1928 the Braughts moved to Woodstock, New York where he was an early productive member of the Art colony and during this time he mastered the art of lithography.

Following the heady years of the Roaring Twenties, by 1931 the Great Depression was really taking hold with no relief on the horizon. Ross Braught could no longer make a living simply by making art and accepted a position to teach at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI). Braught was head of the Painting Department at the KCAI from 1931 to 1935. In 1935 at the age of thirty-six, Braught resigned from the art institute stating, “Teaching demands much energy, much concentration, and much time which might be better put to creative work.” Upon his departure, his friend, Thomas Hart Benton, became the head of the department. In 1936 the Braughts moved to Tortola, BVI where the family remained until 1948. Financial difficulties, which had begun while in Woodstock, only intensified while isolated in the islands. Braught was forced to seek employment and between 1936 and 1939 during the school year returned to the States to teach at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. At the end of WWII Braught was recruited to return to teaching at the KCAI where he was held in high regard. He remained head of the painting department until his retirement in 1962 and twice during his tenure was acting president of the institute.

After retirement Braught returned to Philadelphia where he lived isolated, shunning contact with friends and former students who tried to find him. Although his painting production decreased significantly, he continued drawing until shortly before his death in 1983. It has been assumed that he live alone as a recluse, but in fact he lived with a former student from the KCAI, Joan Fai Shih, with whom he had a close and loving relationship. Joan died in 2007. After their deaths, previously unknown works have surfaced solidifying this true visionary genius place in the Pantheon of American Art.