View from Ft. Wadsworth

Ross--View from Ft Wadsworth@2x.jpg

Dublin Core


View from Ft. Wadsworth


Named in honor of Gen. James Wadsworth, killed in the Civil War, this location at the entrance to New York Harbor always has been strategic and featured batteries since Europeans arrived in America.

About the Artist: Born in Shelbyville, IN, Ross was the son of German immigrants. He studied with William Forsyth—part of the so-called “Hoosier Group” of painters—then moved to New York in 1905 after receiving a scholarship to study at the Art Students League. By 1911 he had relocated to Paris, working at Académie Julian with Richard E. Miller and William-Adolphe Bouguereau at Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Returning to the US ahead of the Great War, Ross located near Washington Square and produced a combination of paintings, privately commissioned murals, and commercial illustration. In 1935 for the Treasury Relief Art Project, Ross installed a massive, 20’ x 20’ painted mural in the Terre Haute, IN courtroom depicting the signing of England’s Magna Carta. First displayed at the Vanderbilt Gallery in New York, the work was praised for the “gay medieval trappings of the nobles and their retainers” while maintaining, for the purposes of a courtroom, a “treatment most dignified and conservative throughout” (New York Sun 28 June 1934: 24). His “Playtime” painting at NDG borrows from murals their organization of bodies in space and a sense of event, even pageantry. In later years Ross became a devout Catholic and painted several more church murals (Pierce). 11 more images at FAP.

Source Consulted: Mary Anne Pierce, “U.S. District Court Mural Arouses Curiosity Here,” Terre Haute Tribune 19 Mar. 1972: 26; “Brings Back Work He Painted Abroad,” Indianapolis Star 11 Feb. 1912: 32.


Ross, Frederick Webb, 1885-1964


Federal Art Project




Cooper, Ken


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Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Photograph of oil painting