Monday, September 26, 2011

In Memoriam: Gordon Wetmore

This from a recent e-mail sent out by Christine Egnoski:

Gordon Wetmore

July 9, 1938 – August 25, 2011
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of founder and board chairman Gordon Wetmore.  Many members have been writing to me over the past couple of days expressing their admiration and love of Gordon. Nina Stahlberg wrote, “Those of us who have been members since the first conference grew to know and love Gordon and looked forward to his ‘southern charm’ each year.” 

Tom Edgerton reminded me about a time he spent with Gordon in 2002 (it shows how Gordon was open, sharing, generous, kind and altruistic); “When we had the first Philadelphia conference, I was walking into the hotel when Gordon and Ed were leaving to go out to the Wyeth compound at Brandywine, they graciously invited me, and all the way there Gordon and Ed conversed about their goals and aims for the Society. One thing they said repeatedly--which really struck a chord with me--was, ‘It's about the members--it's bigger than any one person.’  Joanna McKethan wrote, “I love Gordon, such a personable man who has given the society the mark of his generous personality, as well as the necessary ingredient of faith.”

Almost 15 years ago Gordon called and asked me to become the Executive Director of a non-profit art organization that he was starting along with fellow artists Edward Jonas and Tom Donahue. Through the years Gordon and I spoke often and had become very close, working long hours on projects together and sharing a pride in the on-going success of the Portrait Society. Gordon and all the board serve with no remuneration, and he was always willing to put aside his own art work to assist in endeavors of the Portrait Society.  He was very proud of the tremendous growth and impact made by the Society in the art world. In the beginning I thought of Gordon as my boss, but through the years he became my mentor and my friend. He was always gracious and kind. Gordon leaves behind the legacy of passion – for his own art, for helping others develop their talent and for his family.  He was a true leader and influenced the resurgence of representation art in America.

We are all grateful for knowing Gordon and benefiting from his passion for his art and the Portrait Society.


P.S. Gordon’s wife, Connie, has requested that a scholarship be set up in Gordon’s name.  So we are pleased to announce the Gordon Wetmore Legacy Scholarship Fund.  You can visit our website at to read about the details of the scholarship and there will be a button to click if you wish to make a donation.

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