PETER VOUGHT, artist and Renaissance man, died peacefully on April 13th, 2015 at home surrounded by his family. He was 86 years old. He was an intellectual with an astounding depth of knowledge of art, poetry, history, music and philosophy with a great sense of humor and a lightning quick wit. Versed in many languages, Peter Vought was an artist, a pilot, an avid chess player and a skilled athlete, including a ranked squash player and polo player.
Born in New York on July 27th, 1928, to Aviation Pioneer Chance M. Vought and his wife Ena, he and his brother Chance attending boarding school in Switzerland as well as the Arizona Desert School in Tucson, where he first learned the game of polo. He went on to graduate from the Deerfield Academy and at the age of 16 entered Yale University. Graduating from Yale in 1948, he joined the US Navy as a Naval Pilot and was stationed on the USS Yorktown, where he flew a F9F-5 Panther off of the aircraft carrier in the Pacific. While in the Navy, he performed a successful dead stick landing at night of a crippled F9F-5 Panther fighter jet at 168 miles per hour in Alameda Island, California.
Following his time in the Navy, he enrolled at Fordham Law School in New York City, and discovered he had a greater passion for art and enrolled instead at The Art Student’s League where he would study portraiture under renowned artist Edwin Dickson, and also went on to study at The Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and the Academie Julien in Paris, France.
In 1959, he married Barbara Schmid in Berne, Switzerland and returned to the west, and made Aspen, Colorado then a small rural town, his home. It was in Aspen where they raised their two daughters Leslie and Victoria. They would eventually spend their time between Aspen and Santa Barbara, California, where Peter continued his love of painting and polo.
In 1965 while living in Aspen, he co-founded the then Aspen Air Rescue with Betty Pfister while searching for NASA Dr. William Randolph Lovelace and his family. With Betty in her helicopter and Peter flying cover in his plane, at first light they were able to locate wreckage before it was buried in the snow.
In 1978 he moved with his second wife Nan Newton and their daughter Annie to Santa Fe, NM, where he painted and he continued to play polo both in the U.S. and internationally, often invited to play for certain teams.
After painting portraits and watercolor studies, he found a way to express his love of the colors in nature and expanse of nature in the west through abstract acrylic works of the undeveloped American landscape. Today, his paintings are included in both private and public collections, including the ARCO Executive Offices in Los Angeles; they have exhibited at museums and galleries in Santa Barbara, California; Aspen, Colorado; and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and, as a symbol of American Art, his work was selected to hang the American Embassies in Moscow and Dubai. His work can also been seen in a line of silk scarves called Scarves by Kolibri, as part of a collaborative work with local Santa Fe artist, Ra Disha. Peter had an extraordinary sense of color and design. His passion to create things came in the form of paintings, sculptures, gardens and even story telling. All three of his daughters have favorite memories of listening to stories he used to make up and the magical moments of going through art exhibits in museums around the world with him. His artistic legacy, an extraordinary sense of color and design, lives on in his children and grandchildren.
Peter was predeceased by his parents, his brother Chance Vought, and his granddaughter Olivia Kuenne. He is survived by his daughter Leslie Vought Kuenne and her family Chris Kuenne and their three sons, Peter, William, and Matthew; his daughter Victoria Vought; his daughter Annie Vought and her husband Scott Vermiere; his niece Gay Jones and his nephews Chance, John and Craig Vought. Although Peter’s marriages ended in divorce, he remained good friends with both Barbara and Nan until the end. The entire family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Glenys, Phillip and all the caregivers at Coming Home Connections. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes you to please consider a gift to Coming Home Connections, Inc. 418 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501 or the Olivia Rainbow Foundation at the Princeton Area Community Foundation, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08540. A celebration of his life is planned for the summer. Please contact Berardinelli Family Funeral Service in Santa Fe for more information (505) 984-8600.
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