Ruth Eckstein, German (1916 - 2012)

Ruth Eckstein was a prize-winning abstract painter and printmaker of national and international acclaim. 

Her work is represented in over 60 prestigious public collections. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston owns over a dozen and a half of her prints, and other museums own numerous works of hers. Her work is in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library in New York; the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Boston Public Library, the Worcester Art Museum, and the Danforth Museum in the Boston area; and the Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of American Art, and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Her work is also in collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walter Art Center in Minneapolis, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Wadsworth Athenaeu in Hartford, and the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven. Reflecting her international preeminence, her artwork is in collections of the Biblioteca, Galleria D’Arte Moderne in Rome, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the City of Nurnberg, and the British Museum. In addition, over 90 internationally prominent corporations have acquired her artwork, including AT&T, Bank of Tokyo, Dresden Bank, Exxon-Mobil, Freeport McMoran, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., the Rockefeller Center Corp, L.F. Rothschild & Co. Saks Fifth Avenue, Singer Co., Smith Barney, and Unisys. 

Eckstein’s work has appeared in many exhibits. She had some three dozen individual shows. She also participated in over one hundred group shows. While most of the shows were in the U.S., she also had several exhibits in Germany, as well as in France and Peru.

Ruth Eckstein was born in Nuremberg, Germany. She moved to Paris with her future husband in 1934, and then to America in 1939. She first studied painting in Paris, and, subsequently, at the Museum of Modern Art and the New School for Social Research with Stuart Davis. Encouraged by Harry Sternberg, enthusiastic about her talent, she immersed herself in printmaking techniques, as well as painting and drawing. She studied with Julian Levi and V. Vytlacil, along with Sternberg, at the Art Students League in New York. Later, intrigued by the woodcut technique of printmaker Seong Moy, Eckstein studied with him at the Pratt Graphic Art Center, where she also studied etching techniques with Roberto DeLamonica. 

Her work evolved through her printmaking and related painting and collage work to achieve a majestic tranquility through pared down compositions and subtle modulations of color and shape. Inspired by her travels to South and Central America, the American Southwest, Asia, North Africa, and Europe, her work  embodies an almost oriental serenity of space. In many of her works landscape is suggested by simple abstractions of form and gentle color harmonies. In others, tilted geometric designs, with clear bold colors, provoke a tension between balance and motion. In the words of an art analyst, “Her manipulation of space, creating an illusion of depth by layering flat planes of color and texture, is especially pronounced in her prints and collages. It is in these media that she learned to develop edges that not only soften the geometry of her forms but also—through the simple expediency of tearing instead of cutting the edge of a piece of paper—introduce an organic quality into her compositions and enhance the development of space.” And in the words of a curator at a museum that acquired approximately half a dozen of Eckstein’s works, “Eckstein was a printmaker’s printmaker who experimented with a variety of methods and combined those methods freely. Her dedication to printmaking was such that she bought her own press, essentially building her house around it.”

Eckstein received many awards for her work. They include multiple awards from Audubon Artists in  New York, the Silvermine Guild in New Canaan, Connecticut, Hofstra University, the Village Art Center in New York, and the Long Island Art Festival.

Select Individual Exhibitions

2010      Laselle Village, Newton, Massachusetts
2007     Brennan Library, Lasell College, Newton,
               Massachusetts
2004    Yamawaki Art Center, Lasell College, Newton,
              Massachusetts
2004    Kantar Fine Arts, Newton, Massachusetts
2004    Great Neck Arts Center, Great Neck, New York, “Two
              Friends,” with Esphyr Slobodkina
2003   Center for Research, Lasell College, Newton,
             Massachusetts
2000   Great Neck Arts Center, Great Neck, New York “Lines of
              Communication”
1998/99Heckscher Museum, Bryant Library, Roslyn, New York
            “On Reflection”
1997    Great Neck Center for the Visual and Performing Arts,
              Great Neck, New York
1996    Nese Alpan Gallery, Roslyn, New York ”Retrospective”
1994    Suzuki Gallery, New York, New York “Mostly
              Collages”
1993    Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York “Spatial
              Concerns”
1991   Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York “Abstraction
             Hot and Cool”
1988   Great Neck Library, Great Neck, New York
1987    Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York
1986    Gallery 169, Great Neck, New York
1986    Saint Peter’s Church, New York, New York
1985    Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, New York
1985    Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York
1984    Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut
1984    Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York
1983    Plandome Gallery, Plandome, New York
1982    Brentano’s Gallery, Manhasset, New York
1982    Honey Sharp Gallery, Lenox, Massachusetts
1982    Artists’ Proof, East Hampton, New York
1981    Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York
1980    Galeria de Arte 9, Lima, Peru
1980    Adelphi University, Garden City, New York
1980   Galerie Sulzbeck, Erlangen, Germany
1979    Gallery of Graphic Arts, New York, New York
1978    Port Washington Library Gallery, Port Washington, New
              York
1977   Alonzo Gallery, New York, New York
1976   Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York
1976   Port Washington Library Gallery, Port Washington, New
            York
1975/76Kunsthalle, Nuremberg, Germany
1975   Alonzo Gallery, New York, New York

Select Awards

1985   John Taylor Arms Award, Audobon Artists, New York, New York
1983   Fairfield Award, Art of Northeast USA, Silvermine Guild,
             New Canaan, Connecticut
1978   Edna P. Stauffer Award, Audobon Artists, New York,
             New York
1976   James R. Marsh Award, Audobon Artists, New York, New York
1973   Purchase Awards, Nassau Community College, Garden
             City, New York
1965   Grand Prize and First Prize in Graphics, Long Island Art
             Festival ‘65
1964   Honorable Mention, Audubon Artists, New York City,
             New York
1963   First Prize, Village Art Center, New York City, New York
1961   First Prize and Purchase Award, Hofstra University,
             Hempstead, New York

Public Collections

*Art in Embassies Collection, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
*Biblioteca, Galleria D’Arte Moderne, Rome, Italy
*Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts *British Museum, London. England
*Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York
*Cincinnati Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio
City of Nurnberg, Nurnberg, Germany “International Contemporary Art”
*City University of New York, New York, New York
Civic Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine
*Columbia University, New York, New York
*CUNY Graduate Center Art Gallery, New York, New York
CUNY, Kingsborough College, Brooklyn, New York
*Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts (plus 3 additional works)
Danforth Museum, Framingham, Massachusetts (7 works)
Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York
*Fogg Art Museum,/Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2)
*Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia
*Guggenheim Museum New York, New York
Heckscher Museum, of Art, Huntington, New York
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
*Houston Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas
*Interlochen Art Academy, Michigan
*Kean College of New Jersey, Union, New Jersey
*La Jolla Museum, La Jolla, California
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
*Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
*Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi
Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, Montana
*Muhlenberg College, Frank Martin Gallery, Allentown, Pennsylvania
*Mulvane Museum of Art, Topeka, Kansas
M useum of Fine Arts, Boston—19 prints (plus 1 print in the American Abstract Artists  50th
        Anniversary Print Portfolio*)
*Museum of Modern Art, Print Collection, New York, New York
*Muscarelle Art Museum, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
*Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan
Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York
*National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
*Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
*Neuberger Museum, SUNY/Purchase, New York
*New Jersey State Council of the Arts, New Jersey
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
New York Public Library, New York, New York (2 works)
*Newark Public Library, New Jersey
Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2)
*Princeton University Library, Rare Books Collection, Princeton, New Jersey
*San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
Smithsonian American Art Museum
*Snite Art Museum, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
*Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, Indiana
United States Information Agency, Washington, D.C.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
*University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor Michigan
University of Richmond, Print Study Center, Virginia
*Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut
*Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
*Whitney Museum of American Art Study Collection, New York, New York
*Wichita State University, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum, Wichita, Kansas
*Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts
*Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
             *American Abstract Artists 50th Anniversary Print
              Portfolio

Selected Group Exhibitions
2013  "American Abstract Artists International—75th Anniversary,"  Paris
2012   ParisCONCRET Gallery, Paris
2011    Deutscher Kunstlerbund, Berlin.
2011    Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca,
                    New York “Splendor of Dynamic Structure”
2010    Museum of the Aragonese, Otranto, Italy
2008   The Painting Center, New York, New York
2007   St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, New Jersey
2006   Colby College, Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine
             Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York
             Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York
             Wittarnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond, Virginia
2004   Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey
          “American Abstract Artists Sixtieth Anniversary Portfolio”
           H. Brenner, Judische Franen in dar bildenden Kunst II
2001    Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, Indiana
            Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown,
                  Pennsylvania “Abstract Dilemmas”
2000  Nese Alpan Gallery, Roslyn, New York “Different Directions”
            A.I.R. Gallery, New York, New York “Generations II”
            Long Island University, Brookville, New York
1999  Prince Street Gallery, New York, New York (SAGA)
1998   Discovery Art Gallery, Sea Cliff, New York “Unexpected Pleasures”

1997  Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York “The
                      Long Island Juried Exhibition”
            Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at Federal Reserve  
                     Bank Headquarters, New York, New York
            SAGA National Print Exhibition, Nabisco Headquarters,
                    East Hanover, New Jersey
           Nese Alpan Gallery, Roslyn, New York “Works by Gallery Artists”
           Nese Alpan Gallery, Roslyn, New York “Twenty-Eight
                  Long Island Artists: Recent Work”
1996  Nese Alpan Gallery, Roslyn, New York “The Circle:
                   Symbol of the Psyche”
            Nese Alpan Gallery, Roslyn, New York “Geometry versus Gesture”
            Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, CUNY, New York, New York
           Art Institute for the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas “Print Types”
1995    National Print Biennial, Silvermine Galleries, New Canaan, Connecticut
              James Howe Gallery, Kean College of New Jersey, Union, New Jersey
             Westbeth Gallery, New York, New York
             Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa “Women Printmakers”
1994/95 Suzuki Gallery, New York, New York
1994    Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas “Print Types”
             Central College, Chadron, Nebraska
               Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York “Twelfth Anniversary Exhibition”
              American Abstract Artists, Noyes Museum, Oceanville,
                    New Jersey “The Persistence of Abstraction”
              Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
                    “American Abstract Artists and Related Prints”
              Nassau County Community College, Garden City, New York “Drawn Conclusions”
              Fort Collins, Colorado “Women Printmakers”
              South West Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
                    “Selections from the National Drawing Association”
1993    Shelter Rock Art Gallery, Manhasset, New York “Retrospective”
              Suzuki Gallery, New York, New York
1992   Muhlenberg College Gallery, Allentown, Pennsylvania
                   “American Abstract Artists Fifth Anniversary Print Portfolio”
            Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, New York “The Prevailing Fifties”
           Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York “Less is More”
           Edwin Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University,
                   Kansas “The Persistence of Abstraction”
              Silvermine Guild Galleries, New Canaan, Connecticut  “Seventieth Anniversary Celebration”
1991   Suzuki Gallery, New York, New York “Abstract and Non-Objective Art”
             Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York—Juried Print Exhibition
             Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, New York  “Confluences”
1988/92“A Living Tradition—Selections from the American Abstract Artists” Traveling
                        Exhibition Organized by the United States Information Agency and Bronx Museum
                        of the Arts: Finland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Israel, Yugoslavia, Germany, Poland,
                        USSR, Malta, and Canada
1990  Midge Karr Art Center of New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York “The
                        Larger Print”
            Martin Museum, Baylor University, Waco, Texas “American Print Survey”
1989/90American Abstract Artists Exhibition, New York, New York “55 Mercer Artists”
1989   Neuberger Museum at SUNY, Purchase, New York
                   “Geometric Abstraction and the Modern Spirit”
1988   Discovery Gallery, Glen Cove, New York “Special Guest”
             Bentson Gallery, Southampton, New York Third Annual Invitational Exhibition
            “Silvermine Collection” Pitney Bowes World Headquarters, Stamford, Connecticut
1987 Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut “Art of Northeast USA”
          City Gallery, New York, New York “American Abstract Artists Exhibition”
          Condeso Lawler, New York, New York “American Abstract Artists Fifth Anniversary Print
                  Portfolio”
          Kean College, Union, New Jersey, “American Abstract Artists
               Fiftieth Anniversary Print Portfolio”
          New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey “American
              Abstract Artists Fiftieth Anniversary Print Portfolio”
           Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, New York “Works on Paper by Gallery Artists”
           Pitney Bowes World Headquarters, Stamford, Connecticut “Silvermine Collection”       
1984 Lever House Gallery, New York, New York “Audubon Artists Prizewinners”
            American Abstract Artists, The Bronx Museum of the
                 Arts, Bronx, New York “50th Anniversary Celebration”
            Midge Carr Gallery, New York Institute of Technology,
                  Old Westbury, New York “Outsized Graphics”
            Central Hall Gallery, New York, New York “Invitational Show”
            Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, New York “A Show of Paper Works”
1983   The First Women’s Bank, New York, New York  “Diversity”
             Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina
             University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
             Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut “National Print Show”
            Silvermine Guild New Canaan, Connecticut “Art of Northeast USA”
1982   City Gallery, New York, New York “Abstraction in Action,” American Abstract Artists Exhibition
1981  New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, New Jersey  “American Abstract Artists Exhibition” 1980  Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut “National Print Show”
             Payson/Weisberg Gallery, New York, New York
             Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York, New York “American Abstract Artists Exhibition”
             Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia
1979   Widener College, Chester, Pennsylvania
             Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey
             Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, New York “The Language of Abstraction, American Abstract
                      Artists Exhibition”
             Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut “National Print Show”
1978   Iowa University Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa “Members’ Purchase Exhibition”
             San Antonio Museum, San Antonio, Texas “Collectors’ Show”
             Royal Academy, Stockholm, Sweden
1977   Haus Dornbusch, Frankfurt, Germany
             University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, American Abstract Artists Exhibition
             William Patterson College, Wayne, New Jersey  “American Abstract Artists Exhibition”
             Dubins Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1976    Amos Carter Museum, Forth Worth, Texas
             Westbeth Gallery, New York, New York “American Abstract Artists Exhibition”
1974   Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
             Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia
1973   National Arts Club, New York, New York
1972   Loeb Student Center, New York University, New York, New York “American Abstract Artists
                       Exhibition”
            Farleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey
            New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, New Jersey
1971  University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
1970  Loeb Student Center, New York University, New York, New York “American Abstract Artists
                      Exhibition”

 

Bibliography

2004   Brenner, Judische Frauen in dar Bildenden Kunst II
2003    “Abstract Dilemmas” Marin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College Catalog (illustrated)
2000     Printworld International 9th edition
1999      J.M. Welker, Ruth Eckstein, The Way, 48pp. Monograph (illustrated)
1998      Phyllis Braff, The New York Times (illustrated)      
               American Abstract Artists 60th Anniversary Print Portfolio (illustrated)
1997     American Abstract Artists Journal, vol. 2 (illustrated)
1996    “Pioneers of Abstract Art 1936-1996,” Baruch College, CUNY Catalog (illustrated)
             American Abstract Artists 60th Anniversary Exhibition at Kean College, Union, New Jersey
                        Catalog (illustrated)
1992   Persistence of Abstraction Catalog (illustrated)
             Edwin A. Ulrich Museum, Wichita, Kansas
1991   Phyllis Braff, The New York Times (illustrated)
1990   Karin Lipson, Newsday
             Helen A. Harrison, The New York Times  (illustrated)
1988   “A Living Tradition Catalog,” Bronx Museum of the Arts/A Cultural Presentation of the United
                         States of America /(illustrated)
1987    Matt Damsker, Hartford Courant 
             Franz Geierhaas, Journal of the Print World
             American Abstract Artists 50th Anniversary Print Portfolio  (illustrated);
                       also catalog published  by James Howe Gallery, Keen College, Union, New Jersey
                      (illustrated)
             Karin Lipson, Newsday
1985   Phyllis Braff, The New York Times
             John and Joan Digby, The Collage Handbook (Thames & Hudson)
1984   Carreta, Lima, Peru
             Helen A. Harrison, The New York Times
             Joshua Teplow, Artspeak
1983   Malcolm Preston, Newsday
             Phyllis Braff, The New York Times
              Personnagi Contemporanei, Academia delle Arti, Italy
1982    Malcolm Preston, Newsday
              Printworld Director of Contemporary Prints and Prices
1980   Helen A. Harrison, The New York Times
1979   “The Language of Abstraction” Catalog, American  Abstract Artists (illustrated)
1978   Video Interview by Art Advisory Council, Port Washington Library, Port Washington, New
                     York
             Judith Helfer, Aufbau
             Jeanne Paris, Newsday
1977   Charles Z. Offin, Pictures on Exhibit
             Holland Cotter, New York Arts Journal (illustrated)
             Abraham Illein, Westsider
             Jeanne Paris, Newsday
             Artes Visuales, Mexico, D.F. (illustrated)
1974   Jeanne Paris, Long Island Press
             Linda Weintraub, The Morning Call
          W. F., Nurnberg Nachrichten
             --wie--, Abendzeitung
1972   Andrea Mikotajuk, Arts Magazine
             Michael Benedikt, Art News (also Editor’s Letter)
             Felice T. Ross, Pictures on Exhibit
             Betty Chamberlain, Lincoln Center Marquee
             Gerrit Henry, Art International
              g-w, Stuttgarter Zeitung
              a-z, Stuttgarter Nachrichten
1971   The Cape Codder
1970   Gordon Brown, Arts Magazine
             E. McGraw, Park East
             Claire Nicholas White, Art News
1969   Jacqueline Barnitz, Art Magazine
1968   John Perreault, Art News
              Jeanne Siegel, Arts Magazine
             Michael Berry, Aufbau
1966   American Abstract Artists 1936-66 (illustrated)
             Bernard Wagner, Newsday
1964    Prizewinning Graphics, Book II, Allied Publications

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