Collection Spotlight for March

Ruth Grotenrath
(American, 1912-1988)
Dish of Pears, c. 1950
Linoleum block print
H-24.5 W-19.5 inches
UWM Art Collection, Gift of the Schomer Lichtner Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Born in 1912, Milwaukee native Ruth Grotenrath honed her artistic talent while attending Riverside High School where she was given a private studio. In 1934 soon after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Milwaukee State Teachers college, Ruth married another well-known Milwaukee artist, Schomer Lichtner. Though married, Ruth’s professional career and artistic output was equally acknowledged and praised until her death in 1988.

At first glance, Dish of Pears appears to be an abstract image of swirling black shapes against a loosely defined white background. However, upon closer viewing the distinct shapes of pears in an octagonal-shaped bowl are recognizable in the lower central passage of the print. An asymmetrical red block of color frames the image by balancing the heavy use of black ink, and negative space along the right edge.

April Bina, Spring 2016 UWM Art History Galleries Undergraduate Student Intern