Photography

Conrad Harold Ross

April 26, 1931 ~ September 14, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
Read more about the life story of Conrad and share your memory.    

Obituary

Conrad Harold Ross, Professor Emeritus, 92, of Auburn, AL, passed away on September 14th.  He was born to parents Julius and Pearl Ross, on April 26, 1931 in Chicago, IL. He grew up in the Midwest, living in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Sharon, Pennsylvania; Battle Creek, and Jackson, Michigan. His father was a shoe merchant and retailer and later owned a pharmacy.

He received his BFA Magna Cum Laude in 1953 from Illinois University in Champaign, Illinois. Conrad met Janice Koenig in a junior year art class; they married in Champaign in 1954. After graduation, he enrolled for a short period at the University of Chicago to study Philosophy before moving to Littleton, Massachusetts, where he began a two-year ROTC obligation as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps at Fort Devens. The following year of service was spent at Fort Meade, Maryland, as a cryptographer.

In the fall of 1956, Conrad began graduate school at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, studying printmaking with Mauricio Lasansky, a master of intaglio and a noted printmaking instructor, receiving his MFA degree in 1959. His thesis was on “The Early Years of Picasso as a Printmaker”. Their first two children, Katherine and Joe, were born in Iowa City.

In 1960, Conrad was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant in printmaking which allowed him to purchase an intaglio press. The family moved to Ruston, Louisiana, in the fall of 1961 where Conrad taught drawing and design at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute. In 1963, he secured a position in the Art Department at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. In Auburn, their third child, Rachel, was born and Janice and Conrad each established art studios and developed professional credentials. Conrad was granted Emeritus status from Auburn University in 1997.

He was raised in the Jewish faith, but came to be a devoted Unitarian Universalist beginning when he and Janice were unable to be married by anyone other than a Unitarian minister in the 1950’s. After their move to the South in the 1960’s, the activism of Unitarian Universalists cemented his commitment. Later, he studied Buddhism, meditation and yoga. And, while Art was his life, politics was his hobby and he remained an active supporter of Social Justice issues and proponents throughout his life.

With Janice, he was a welcoming host for guests and visitors from around the world, including a group of Buddhist monks who were creating a mandala at the Jule Collins Smith Museum and the British and Nigerian potters, Michael Cardew and Ladi Kwali, when they were guest artists at Tuskegee University. Through Servas, the international program promoting peace through international travel and hosting, they opened their home to many travelers, then stayed in the homes of other members when they travelled abroad. They hosted our “other sister”, Akiko Nakatsugawa, a young Japanese woman who lived with them for many years, first while studying English as a second language then ultimately staying until receiving her Masters in Industrial Design from Auburn University.

Conrad is a highly regarded artist with over 40 solo exhibitions, 500 juried and invitational shows, years of lectures and demonstrations as a Professor of Art at Auburn University. He was involved in developing the collograph as a printmaking technique using found materials such as sandpaper, paper, corduroy, string and thread coated in acrylic, printed both in relief and intaglio, and resulting in plates that are themselves works of art. He established Wycross Press in Auburn, Alabama in 1989, a Fine Art Press devoted to the advancement of experimental printmaking, bringing fine art by contemporary artist/printmakers to an appreciative audience. He published “Printology” a series of 10 Folios of prints by 20 artist/printmakers produced over the course of 10 years from 1990 through 2000. Conrad’s work is represented by Wycross Press, Wycrosspress.com, and Ross Koenig Ross Collections, which have both hosted numerous open houses over the years.

His work is in the Prentenkabinet of Antwerp and the Frans Masreel Center in Kasterlee, Belgium; The Library of Congress; and some 13 Southern Institutional art collections, including the Dallas Museum; Museum of Arts and Sciences of Norfolk; Huntsville Museum of Art; and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.  He traveled throughout Europe and the US, and to China on a Fulbright in 1993.  On each trip, he drew and took photos to use later in artworks once back at home or on fellowships working in studios in Belgium and Italy.  In 1984, he and Janice were artists-in-residence with the Art Studies Abroad Program through the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy.

Cathy Byrd of Atlanta, in the brochure accompanying the Montgomery Museum of Art exhibit of his China Collés series, observed: “A contemporary Marco Polo, Conrad Ross, reflects on his experiences through printmaking. His art constructs a mirror that reflects the irony of a world made small by travel, the media, and the Internet.”

Conrad is survived by his brother: Robert Phillip (Jean) Ross; three children: Katherine Ross (Timothy Morrison), Joseph Ross, and Rachel (George) Barker; six grandchildren: Emily Pearl Buice, Sarah Louise Buice, Samuel Aaron Ross, William Isaac Ross, Lauren Elizabeth Ross, Tucker Paul Morrison; two beloved step-grandchildren: Ellen Barker (Colin) Eden and Jason Andrew (Katie) Barker; and one great-grandchild: Ella Grace Barker.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the Sierra Club, or Emily’s List.  A memorial of Conrad’s life and art will be held at a future date.


Services

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Orders begin printing on September 28
Online Event
profile

In Loving Memory Of

Conrad Ross

April 26, 1931-September 14, 2023




Look inside to read what others
have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Orders begin printing on September 28
Online Event

profile

In Loving Memory Of

Conrad Ross

April 26, 1931-September 14, 2023




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Conrad Harold Ross
SHARE OBITUARY

© 2023 Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility