Thomas Jefferson Scott

SCOTT , Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Scott liked to quote Hippocrates (on alternate Tuesdays): "Art is long and life is short." His life ended Feb. 26 at age 85, but he leaves behind a large body of work, and many people he inspired to look and rethink their ideas about art. He was born in Chicago on Jan. 13,1928, the son of Walter and
Marguerite Scott, who lived in Baltimore for many years. Tom graduated from the Chicago Art Institute and New York University in fine arts. He practiced as an architect and designed early modernist furniture early in his career, and taught fine arts at the University of Alabama, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Rochester Institute of Technology, and The Maryland Institute College of Art, where he retired as graduate dean in the mid 1970s. He loved New York City and lived there for years, teaching and working as the art advisor to the Center for Urban Education, an anti-poverty program during the Johnson administration. During a city-wide teacher strike in Manhattan, Tom hired artists, poets, jugglers, actors and others to keep city schools open, which was a huge success with children. He was an active member of Artists Equity in Baltimore and chaired a scholarship competition for high school students. He drew and painted all his life, with exhibits in New York, Seattle, Kansas City, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore in both private galleries and alternative spaces. In 2001, he was artist in residence at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Normandy, France, and exhibited there in 2002. He was an abstract painter and some of his early work was on large architectural photographs. Later he returned to completely abstract painting, creating soft-edged geometric images with spray paint that reflected his interest in light and the grid. Tom is survived by his wife, Simone Campbell-Scott of Baltimore; sister, Pat Girardot of Colorado; children, Andrew Scott of Brooklyn, Maude Scott of Seattle, Peter Scott of Bellingham, Wash., and Daniele Campbell of New York City; two grandchildren, Alex and Isabel Blue, and two step-grandchildren, Casey and Charlotte Lamb.
A celebration of his life will be held this spring in Baltimore.

Published in Baltimore Sun on Mar. 1, 2013