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 Ruth Marie Reeves  (1892 - 1966)

About: Ruth Marie Reeves


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Lived/Active: New York/California / India      Known for: fabric design, mod images, illustrator

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Ad Code: 4
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A designer, craftsman, painter and teacher, Ruth Reeves was known for textile designs and wall hangings including for the children's room of the public library in Mount Vernon, New York;  the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England; and especially for her work at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  In that project, she was commissioned by textile designer, Donald Deskey, to create a "vast carpet that would cover the grand lobby, staircase, and three mezzanines---and be symbolic of theatrical activities.  In a mosaiclike configuration, Reeves interwove strong geometric abstractions of musical instruments.  The rhythmical patterns, with a colorful concoction of geometrically shaped banjos, guitars, accordions, piano keys saxophones, and harps float against ample clouds of bright orange and yellow in a deep blue sky.  . . .The result is an immense, jazzy carpet that is opulent and urbane.  It is perfect for a public pleasure palace." (Roussel 17)

Reeves was the first superintendent of the Index of American Design in Washington DC and a teacher of painting and sculpture at Columbia University from 1952.  She was also an illustrator including Daphnis and Chloe, a Limited Editions Club publication of 1932.

She was born in Redlands, California on July 14, 1892.  While in San Francisco in 1911-13, Reeves studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and continued her art training at the Pratt Institute and in Paris with Fernand Leger.  She then taught in the public schools of Redlands and by the 1930s she had moved to New York.

Reeves exhibited widely including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1930, the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, the Museum of Modern Art in 1929, and the Art Institute of Chicago in 1930.

She died in New Delhi, India in 1966.

Christine Roussel, The Guide to the Art of Rockefeller Center
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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