Robert Ryland Kearfott
1890 – 1969

Robert Ryland Kearfott was a 20th century American artist who specialized in portraiture and worked in oils, watercolors and charcoal. He was also a sculptor and illustrator. He edited Kerfoot, Kearfott and Allied Families in America, published in 1948. Kearfott was an artist member of the Salmagundi Club and was associated with Portraits, Inc., Gallery in New York. Exhibitions of his work were held in many locations, including Paris, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas.

Clarence Pierceall Kearfott and sons Robert Ryland, Clarence Baker, Joseph Conrad, and Hugh Smith, c 1900

Kearfott’s parents founded the First Baptist Church in their home in 1884, the year after their marriage. Robert Kearfott created a bas-relief commemorating his parents’ role, which hangs along with portraits he painted of the two in the church in Martinsville.

Early Life.  Robert Ryland Kearfott was born December 12, 1890 in Martinsville, Virginia.  His parents were Clarence Pierceall Kearfott (1856-1920) a pharmacist and banker and Rebecca Kratz Kearfott (1856-1928). Fifth of nine children, he had three brothers and five sisters. Three of his sisters died very young.094-17