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Ross Moffett


Ross Moffett

Ross Embrose Moffett (1888-1971), “Untitled” (West End, Red Inn, 1931
Verso: Witches Cauldron, 1947), Watercolor, 12” x 18” - Private Collection

Ross Moffett

Ross Embrose Moffett (1888-1971), “Life on the Dunes”, n.d., Oil on Canvas, 18” x 24” - Private Collection

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 recieve stimulation and refinement from Hawthorne. Moffett viewed Hawthorne's teaching from his own strongly individual vantage point, althought 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 manifest."

Extemporizing his statement about life through the virtuoso handling of the figure in the landscape, Moffett potrayed 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.

By Josephine del Deo


Ross Moffett, Provincetown painter


Moffett House, Provincetown

Moffett House, 296A Commercial Street, Provincetown (between Standish & Ryder streets). Built in 1860, the Moffett House was formerly the home and studio of Ross Moffett and Dorothy Moffett (Dorothy Lake Gregory), a well known local artists. Today it is Moffett House Inn, restored to offer accommodations with all the charm of the old, while providing the comforts of today.


Ross Moffett & Dorothy Lake Gregory grave, Provincetown cemetery

Ross Moffett and Dorothy Moffett (Dorothy Lake Gregory) grave, Provincetown cemetery. Photograph by Ewa Nogiec.

Edwin Dickinson, Ross Moffett and Karl Knaths, Provincetown Art Association and Museum

(l-r) Edwin Dickinson, Ross Moffett and Karl Knaths on the steps of the Art Association, 1967. Photographer: George Yater. PAAM Archives.



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