Ruth CRAVATH (1902-1986)

Cunningham, Imogen. Ruth Cravath, sculptor (ca 1953). Copyright, The Trust. All Rights Reserved. George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

Cunningham, Imogen. Ruth Cravath, sculptor (ca 1953). George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

“In 1926 Ruth Cravath’ s ability was so soundly established that she was invited to conduct sculpture classes in the new building of the California School of Fine Arts, at Chestnut and Jones Streets, San Francisco. Here she became a pace-setter for young students later to become well-known in all manner of sculpture, from small coin designs to heroic monuments, from bas-reliefs to portrait busts. Among her students at that time were Jacques Schnier and Raymond Puccinelli. She also kept a studio on Montgomery Street, in the artist quarter, for fulfilling her own professional commissions.” (…)

“California art circles of the present day give generous recognition to the name of Ruth Cravath, sculptor and painter of note. To be the possessor of a “Cravath,” as she signs her work, is felt by her patrons to be a mark of distinction. And not only is Ruth Cravath a creator, but a capable teacher as well, whose talent for interpretation, integrity and understanding have done much to develop local art.”

Read Ruth Cravath‘s biography in California Art Project, volume 16.

At a glance

Birth : 1902 Chicago, Illinois (United States)
Death : 1986 Paulsbo, Washington (United States)
Arrival in San Francisco Bay area : 1921
Married to : Sam Bell Wakefield III
Skills : sculptor, painter, teacher at the California School of Fine Arts


Art education, teachers : Art Institute of Chicago, California School of Fine Arts with Beniamino Bufano and Ralph Stackpole
Partners : Mariane Trace
Relations : Maxine Albro, Dorothy Puccinelli Cravath, Enid Foster, Adaline Kent, Rosalie Maus, Spencer Macky, Gottardo Piazzoni, Julius Pommer, Raymond Puccinelli, Lee Randolph, Jacques Schnier,  Edgar Walter
Patrons : Albert Bender, Henry Colby, Lawrence Kyers, Eugene Mahon, Morse Erskine, Murray Johnson, R. G. Parker, Colonel C.E.S. Wood, Perry Relcher
Institutions, clubs, venues : San Francisco Art Association, San Francisco Society of Women Artists, San Francisco Art Center, California School of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Summer Art School for children, Paul Elder Gallery, Modern Gallery, East West Gallery, Emporium Galleries

Resources in the Bancroft Library

Pictorial archives

The Ruth Cravath sculpture of Starr King, Potrero Hill, San Francisco [graphic] : photographs and newsclippings. BANC PIC 2001.197–PIC; BANC PIC 2001.197–PIC. Catalog Record

Representative works :

Data visualization : Mapping of Ruth Cravath’s biography

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