2007-12-20 / Obituaries

Seth Morton Vose II, 98

Seth Morton Vose II, 98, a noted authority on American art, died at Brookhaven at Lexington, Mass. on Dec. 5, 2007.

He was born in Brookline, Mass. on April 25, 1909, the son of Robert Churchill Vose and S. Helen (Williams) Vose, and lived there until moving to Lexington in 1998. He attended the Runkle School and Country Day School, both of Brookline. Active in Boy Scouts, Troop 4, Brookline, he rose to Eagle Scout and was a scoutmaster in early adulthood. He graduated from Harvard College class of 1931. Immediately after college he entered the family business, Vose Galleries of Boston, dealers in fine paintings, where he remained until his retirement 45 years later. He served as president of the firm following his father's death in 1964. On Sept. 7, 1940, he married Ruth S. Denny.

In his youth he spent many summers at the family's Rhode Island farm, "Cajacet," on Conanicut Island. Surrounded there by 19th century farm tools, he gained a lifelong appreciation for old things and throughout his life he took great delight in doing many tasks around his property using old tools. He especially treasured his kerosene lamps, several of which he fondly remembered as the only source of light on the farm in the days before rural electrification.

He and his wife both enjoyed gardening, and in later years spent many hours caring for their large collection of houseplants, building a his and hers pair of greenhouses, which they enjoyed over 30 years.

Mr. Vose was a respected member of numerous art, historical and literary organizations. He belonged to the Brookline Thursday Club for almost 50 years, and when he left Brookline, the club refused to accept his resignation, keeping him as an honorary member. He also enjoyed his membership in the Club of Odd Volumes.

Lifelong Unitarians, he and his wife were both members of the First Parish Church in Brookline, where he served as deacon for many years. In 1998, after 59 years together in Brookline, he and his wife, Ruth, moved to Brookhaven at Lexington, where he spent the remainder of his life. The eldest of five, he outlived all his siblings.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ruth (Denny) Vose; two daughters, Ruth S. and husband, Arthur Feinstein, of San Francisco, CA, Virginia W. of Seattle, WA; son Seth M. 3rd of Brookline; granddaughter Harriet Gray Trezevant and husband, Warren, of Oakland, CA, and great-granddaughter, Tallulah Jane Trezevant.

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