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Ruth Grotenrath Art

American, 1912-1988

"The paintings of Ruth Grotenrath (1912-1988) speak more about the woman who created them than any of the most carefully chosen words. They are lively, colorful, warm, cheerful and composed. Ruth found beauty in most everything around her. Throughout her 50-year career, she tirelessly painted compositions of selected objects culled from her immediate surroundings. The orderliness of her arrangements and bright colors make these works genuinely uplifting. Although her paintings have a charm, and perhaps even an unmistakable femininity, they are never saccharine. They are filled with a sense of careful study and analysis. Viewing a number of her paintings serves as an open window into the private world of a woman with a distinct vision." — Dean Sobel, former Curator of Contemporary Art, Milwaukee Museum of Art

Ruth Grotenrath was married to artist Schomer Lichtner (1905–2006) in 1934. Ruth began as a classic regionalist and then worked into modernism and abstraction influenced by Japanese art and culture. Many of Ruth's works were of floral still lifes. She was influenced by the styles of Matisse and Van Gogh. In a Milwaukee Journal article of October 30th, 1966, Ruth quotes Pablo Picasso as saying, "The world is a marvelous spectacle . . .  I do not seek, I find." For her own early work, she drew upon vital and broad 20th-century modern influences and for later work the sophisticated arts of Japan. 

Together with her husband, Schomer, Ruth was part of a generation’s movement away from the influences of the German academies in Wisconsin. Being part of the Social Realist movement of the 1930s, she had studied everyday people and places for her themes, sometimes creating monumental expressions like the mural from the Hudson, Wisconsin Post Office, now exhibited in the Museum of Wisconsin Art. A recipient of the 2007 Wisconsin Visual Artist Lifetime Achievement Award, Ruth attended Milwaukee State Teachers College — today known as the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee — and also taught at Layton School of Art. A trip to Japan in the 1960s spurred her to paint images of everyday decorative household objects, employing oil and water media, gilt and silver leaf in her work. For many decades she produced and exhibited paintings, prints and textiles around the United States, winning many awards from venues ranging from the once-important Wisconsin State Fair art building to the buildings of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. A quote from the Wisconsin Architect magazine of January 1967 states: "Ruth Grotenrath’s theme is the celebration of sensuous loveliness in life and the world. Her paintings grow from awareness of beauty and readiness to be sculpted into joy." Grotenrath’s work is represented in collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the John Michael Kohler Art Center, the West Bend Museum and in the collections of many individuals.

(Biography provided by David Barnett Gallery)
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"Christmas Traditions 30119" Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
"Christmas Traditions 30119" is an original color silkscreen signed in screen on verso by Ruth Grotenrath. This piece depicts patterns in green and red as well as other Christmas ima...
Category

1950s American Modern Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

'O'Tannenbaum' original color silkscreen signed on verso, Christmas tree, winter
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1940s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Still Life with Irises," signed original gouache painting by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1980s Contemporary Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Gouache, Rice Paper

"Festive Fruit," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Yuletide Silhouette," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Fir Tree," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Pine Tree," Offset Black & White Lithograph by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1960s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Lithograph

"O'Tannenbaum," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1940s American Modern Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Surprise Package," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Yule Dancers," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

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"Surprise Package," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
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1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

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"O'Tannenbaum," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
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1940s American Modern Ruth Grotenrath Art

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"Fir Tree," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
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"Yuletide Silhouette," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
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"Yule Dancers," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
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1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

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"Festive Fruit," Original Color Silkscreen signed by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
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1950s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

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'O'Tannenbaum' original color silkscreen signed on verso, Christmas tree, winter
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1940s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Pine Tree," Offset Black & White Lithograph by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1960s Expressionist Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Lithograph

"Still Life with Irises," signed original gouache painting by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1980s Contemporary Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Gouache, Rice Paper

"Season's Greetings," Abstract Holiday Silkscreen signed by Schomer Lichtner
By Schomer Lichtner
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1950s American Modern Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

'Winter Silhouettes,' offset lithograph by Schomer Lichtner
By Schomer Lichtner
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1960s American Modern Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Black and White, Lithograph

'Winter Silhouettes,' offset lithograph by Schomer Lichtner
By Schomer Lichtner
Located in Milwaukee, WI
Category

1960s American Modern Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Black and White, Lithograph

Previously Available Items
"Smith Brothers Restaurant," Original Color Silkscreen by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
"Smith Brothers Restaurant" is an original color silkscreen by Ruth Grotenrath. The artist designed this piece for a placemat for the restaurant in Wisconsin. It depicts a variety of...
Category

1950s Contemporary Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Pear & Pomegranate," original color silkscreen by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
"Pear & Pomegranate" is an original color silkscreen by Ruth Grotenrath. The artist signed the piece. It depicts fruit in magenta and black. 4 7/8" x 6 5/8" art 12 1/2" x 14 1/4" f...
Category

1950s Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

"Season's Good Cheer," original color silkscreen by Ruth Grotenrath
By Ruth Grotenrath
Located in Milwaukee, WI
"Season's Good Cheer" is an original color silkscreen by Ruth Grotenrath. The artist signed it with her initials and it is No. 256 in the artist's numbering system. It depicts a few ...
Category

1950s Ruth Grotenrath Art

Materials

Screen

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