Mark Gottsegen earned his BA in 1971 from the University of Rochester, and his MFA from Boston University in 1974. He joined the art faculty at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) in 1976, teaching all levels of drawing and painting, as well as a course in art materials. In 2007, he left UNCG to become the Materials Research Director of the Intermuseum Conservation Association, and the Co-Director of AMIEN, Art Materials Information and Education Network. Recognized as one of the foremost authorities in the science of art materials, his book on the subject is now in its fourth revised edition.
Henry York, the subject of Henry, was a farmer and friend in Randolph County, NC. The painting captures Henry as he sat one day, deep in thought. Shortly after that day, Henry passed away. The technique, encaustic, is melted beeswax and pigment combined and painted while molten. The final step involves heating the painting to fuse the layers.
While at UNCG, many of the artists and teachers who are also in the Weaver Collection were of great influence to Gottsegen. Andrew Martin taught him about painting and drawing and how to be a good teacher in both techniques. He learned from Peter Agostini that artistic fame, skill and talent do not equal good teaching. Joan Gregory taught him about being a good administrator and responsible teacher. Mike Ananian, Ben Berns, and Will South also made lasting impressions.