Vern G. Swanson was born in Central Point, Oregon, and studied at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. By the time he began reading for his PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, 1978, he had been researching John William Godward for two years. Swanson has been appraising, authenticating and cataloguing British and Continental classical paintings for auction houses worldwide since 1982. He has been Museum Director of Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah since 1980. He has written two books on Alma-Tadema and is the author of Hidden Treasures: Russian and Soviet Impressionism 1930-1970s, and co-author of Utah Painting and Sculpture. He has also written numerous booklets, catalogues, brochures and articles.