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 Ruth Heilprin  (1883 - 1983)

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Lived/Active: District Of Columbia/New York/California      Known for: portrait and figure painting

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Ruth Helprin is primarily known as Ruth Heilprin

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Ad Code: 4
R. Ford Harper
Rooster Hat Beauty
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ruth Heilprin Hammerslough O’Neill (R. Ford Harper) 1883-1983?

From an anonymous researcher:
According to records from Ellis Island, Ruth Hammerslough sailed from Cherbourg, France, arriving in NY July 23, 1923. She listed her parents’ address in Washington DC as her own. [Her husband Alexander, who still lived in New York, later traveled to France and returned June 29, 1925  (perhaps seeking Ruth’s fate or whereabouts?). ]

In the 1930 census she was living in a boarding house in Boston, also occupied by George Thomas O'Neill, a commercial artist 13 years her junior, who had traveled to France (and later to the Orient) at about the time of Ruth Hammerslough’s residency in France.

In 1930 she is listed as “Ruth O'Neill.” In 1940 George and Ruth O'Neill were living in Santa Barbara, California, and enumerated with the Sullivan family (occupation art director) as "guests."

During World War II the O'Neills were living in San Diego, where George was stationed with the Navy. 

According to Social Security records, Ruth O'Neill died on October 26, 1983 in Santa Barbara, at the age of 100. George O'Neill died in June 1988, also in Santa Barbara.

Source Citationa:
Year: 1923; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 3335; Line: 27; Page Number: 95.
Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 945; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 136; Image: 299.0; FHL microfilm:
Database online. Year: 1940; Census Place: , Santa Barbara, California; Roll: T627_334; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 42-36.
Database online. Place: ; Date: ; Social Security:

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
R Ford Harper is a pseudonym for Ruth Helprin (or Heilprin, her maiden name) Hammerslough.

Ruth Ford Harper was born in Washington, DC, on September 3, 1883.  In 1902 and 1905 she spent three months in Europe.  She was a student of William Merritt Chase.  She married Alexander Hammerslough in 1906, and they lived in New York.

She did exhibit her work under her real name Ruth H. Hammerslough at least once, Nov. 26 -Dec. 8, 1918 at the Dowell Club 108 W. 55th St.  Her only work under this name to have been sold at a major auction is The Little Dutch Doll.

In August 1920 she settled in Paris to study, and was still living 31 rue Campagne-Première in the heart of Montparnasse in June 1922, while her husband still lived in New York.  In the very same street an incredible concentration of artists chose to live at or around this time: Man Ray lived in the same wonderful art deco building of artist’s studios at number 31 bis; Foujita lived at number 23, and Marcel Duchamp, Picabia, Kiki de Montparnasse, Rilke, Tristan Tzara, Éric Satie and Vladimir Maïakovski lived literally next door at number 29 in Hôtel Istria.

She was 39 and planning a tour of Europe; what became of her after 1922 is not known.


Information provided by Jacques Protat, American Art

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