ruth zinn becker
the books on the shelf of the hoxton hotel in portland, oregon are books from ruth’s personal library. She had an extensive collection of books and I am sure she read them all. These particular books passed to us, her grandchildren: abra and rachel ancliffe. we have have donated them to the hoxton. although these books do not seem special as first glance, maybe through them ruth will inspire you to investigate something further, have an open mind and follow your passion, as she inspired us. She was always curious, I hope you are too.
Ruth Zinn Becker (b. 1916 - D. 1915) was an artist with a lifelong focus on painting, sculpture and drawing. Born and raised in New York City, Ruth attended Hunter College and in 1937 received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art with a minor in Political Science. Ever curious, Ruth continued her education at Hunter well into her 80s, where she attended classes in East Asian and African Art History.
In 1942, Ruth married George Becker, an attorney, who faithfully supported her artistic practice. In 1944, Ruth and George gave birth to their daughter, Leslie. During the 40s and 50s, Ruth would diligently paint at home, where the kitchen would become her painting studio.
In 1962, Ruth was invited to study under Victor D’Amico, the founding Director of the Education Department at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). She and 10 other emerging artists painted in a studio in the basement of the Museum under the instruction of D’Amico. This began a close friendship between the two that revolved around mutual respect and studio practice, which lasted until he passed in 1987.
Ruth was involved in the early years of The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, known as The Art Barge, in Amagansett, NY. In the beginning, she would rent a summer room to attend classes. In 1968 Ruth and George bought a summer home in East Hampton, NY where she painted and drew in her studio and with her contemporaries at The Barge. Well into the 1990s, Ruth was instrumentally involved at The Barge, where she was on the Board, and took and taught multiple classes.
From the 1970s-1990s, Ruth continued to paint, draw, photograph and create sculptures. During this time, she exhibited in solo and juried shows throughout New York, including at The Parrish Museum, The Guild Hall Museum, and at Gallery 84, where she was represented.
Ruth and George were lifelong patrons of the Arts, supporting the Manhattan Theater Club, Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, The Parrish, and The Asia Society, among many. This support extended to friends and family, including her granddaughters, who are both working artists.
Colors, an unbound collection of pastel color studies by Ruth Zinn Becker was discovered by her grand-daughters while cleaning out her painting studio in New York. An archive of her working process of thinking through making, Colors documents Ruth's sorting of colors, written marginalia, and the movements of her hands. It acts as a tangible record of how Ruth knew what she knew. Colors by Ruth Zinn Becker, painter is this document extended further as a printed multiple. you can purchase the book via the shop button above.
if you are interested in what her granddaughters are up to:
abra ancliffe - personal libraries library - The Personal Libraries Library is a subscription, lending library located in Portland, Oregon. The Library recreates and reconsiders the personal libraries of artists, philosophers, scientists, writers and other thinkers & makers.
rachel ancliffe - ancliffe collection is A LIMITED EDITION WOMEN’S CLOTHING LINE BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE.