The Denman Waldo Ross Society was established in 2003 to honor individuals, corporations, and foundations who assist the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the critical goal of continuing to grow and enhance its world-renowned collections.
The Ross Society recognizes those who have made donations of art to the Museum, who have irrevocably pledged a future gift of art, or who have provided funds for the purchase of art at a minimum of $2500 on or after July 1, 2001. Members are listed in the Museum’s annual report and other publications and receive invitations to annual recognition events and other educational opportunities, including a full-day seminar for collectors.
Denman Waldo Ross was an art collector, an educator, and a member of the highly influential circle of intellectuals trained by Harvard’s first art historian, Charles Eliot Norton. The son of a prosperous Cincinnati family, he became a painter himself and taught in the architecture and fine arts departments at Harvard starting in 1899, eventually joining the fine arts faculty formally in 1909.
When Ross was not teaching, he traveled throughout Europe and Asia, Egypt, and in Central and South America, collecting art wherever he went. He believed passionately that great art deserved to be enjoyed by all of humanity and, living out that philosophy, generously shared his collection, giving some 11,000 objects in all to the Museum over the course of 40 years.
Ross Society Fellows
The MFA has also formed the Ross Society Fellows to honor those who have contributed works of art or funds for purchasing art valued at $1 million or more. The Fellows are given additional recognition in donor lists and receive invitations to special seminars and other exclusive events focusing on collecting and connoisseurship.
Above: Claude Monet, Ships in a Harbor, about 1873. Oil on canvas. Denman Waldo Ross Collection. 06.117