Ruth McAdams studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She also took instruction from Caroline M. Bell and Gladys Wiles Jepson (1894-1984). McAdams was a founding member of the Old Town Arts & Crafts Guild in Cutchogue.
She traveled with Bell and the Peconic Bay Impressionists to Gloucester, Massachusetts. She participated in exhibitions at the Allied Artists of America, Suffolk Museum at Stony Brook and at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, Long Island.