The Work of John T. Scott in Ogden Museum’s Permanent Collection

In this video created for an annual celebration of John T. Scott’s life and influence, Bradley Sumrall, Ogden Museum Curator of the Collection, shares work by John T. Scott that the Museum is fortunate to have in its permanent collection.⁣⁣


John T. Scott was raised in the city’s Lower Ninth Ward. He said that his art training began at home. He learned embroidery from his mother, and his father was a chauffeur and restaurant cook. He attended Xavier, a Roman Catholic and historically Black college, and then Michigan State University, where he studied with the painter Charles Pollock, Jackson Pollock’s brother. After completing his master of fine arts degree in 1965, he returned to Xavier, where he taught for 40 years.  

Always a dynamic artist, Scott’s style evolved throughout his career. In the 1980s, Scott added kinetic elements to his sculptures. Not relegated to any one field, Scott produced many woodprints and mixed-media collages along with his sculptures. His prints from the early 1990s reflect urban violence. After winning a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1992, Scott expanded his studio and began to create various site-specific monumental works throughout New Orleans, including pieces at the New Orleans Museum of Art and Xavier University’s campus. Hurricane Katrina forced Scott from the city he loved and failing health kept him away. He passed away in Houston in 2007. 

Scotts work includes complex, yet graceful kinetic sculptures that can be seen throughout New Orleans. His other mediums include woodcut prints, watercolors, divergent materials such as cast bronze and thin brass strips of wire. Scott’s work can also be seen across America in California, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C.