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NSCAD mourns the loss of Professor Emeritus Gerald Ferguson

Photo: Steve Farmer BFA 1989

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of long-serving faculty member Gerald Ferguson.

Joining NSCAD in 1968 from Ohio University, Jerry was instrumental in the founding of the Master of Fine Arts program in 1973, and served as chair of the Divisions of Studio and Graduate Studies during his tenure. Jerry was a Director of the Lithography Workshop and a founding member of the NSCAD Press serving on the Editorial Board until his retirement in 2005. Recipient of the 1995 Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, he was a noted expert and collector of folk art and historical Canadian painting.

A respected writer and editor, Jerry inspired and mentored many artists, art historians and critical writers in Canada and abroad. Gerald Ferguson contributed greatly to the international reputation acquired by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the 1970’s. Also a generous donor, works from his collection are in major galleries across the country. Named Professor Emeritus in 2008, he was beloved by his students and inspired generations of artists.

Jerry’s distinguished teaching and artistic career has earned him an enduring reputation in the field of contemporary art. On behalf of students, alumni, faculty and staff who were honoured to have known him, we extend our profound and sincere sympathy to his family. He will be greatly missed.

The Gerald Ferguson Memorial Bursary Fund
A bursary in memory of Jerry is being established by his friends, colleagues and family. The Gerald Ferguson Memorial Bursary will honour his distinguished teaching and artistic careers.

H. Dennis Young’s In Memoriam: Gerald Ferguson
I first met Jerry in 1970 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He had come with a portfolio of lithographs from the NSCAD Lithography Workshop. The works were unique and I bought one of everything and gave Jerry a standing order for all future production—and thus a friendship began that endured for 39 years, since, a year later, the college made me an offer to create an art history department and I arrived in Halifax to discover I had taken an apartment in the Park Victoria where the Ferguson family, Jerry, Mary-Lou, Heather and Douglas were also living. Later still, we bought houses just ten minutes apart. I was therefore a frequent guest of the family, and in 1990 (when I retired from NSCAD and when Mary-Lou had begun to suffer from Parkinson’s) we sold the houses and moved into the same condominium building on Lower Water Street. Read more >>>