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Ford Ruthling (1933–2015)

St. Nicholas, number #3-B, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches. SOLD.

December 25, 2020

Ford Ruthling grew up in Tesuque, New Mexico, in the 1930s. The painters John Sloan, Will Shuster and William P. Henderson were family friends and frequent guests at the Ruthling home and apple orchard; his drawing professor at the University of New Mexico was Randall Davey. That history of artists and the spirit that founded the Santa Fe Art Colony is alive in Ruthling. His "embossed paintings," a medium unique to him, reminds us of the pioneering artists he know as a young boy, and the ingenuity they imparted.

New Mexico art history and Ford Ruthling's work are inextricably linked. Indeed, Ruthling's work can be seen as a tribute to the rich cultural and visual history of New Mexico. His works, informed by a fascinating life in a stunning place, are both windows to the past and reflections of the present. Working as an artist for over fifty years, Ruthling never limited his choice of medium. In his oil paintings, ceramics, tinwork and embossed paintings, the influence of New Mexico art history is visible throughout. The tinwork that has defined a large part of Ruthling's career has its roots in the work for Higinio Gonzales, the seminal New Mexican tinmaker who worked between 1860 and 1922. The traditional subject matter of 19th-century tinwork, of which Ruthling was an avid collector, inevitably found its way into his own work, being translated and infused with his own brand of humor and wisdom. In 1977 the United States Government commissioned Ruthling to design a set of postage stamps featuring historic New Mexican pottery. The commemorative stamps, which are similar to his oil paintings, made a piece of New Mexico art history accessible to an entire nation.

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Ford Ruthling (1933–2015) St. Nicholas, number #3-B, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Ford Ruthling (1933–2015) St. Nicholas, number #3-B, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Cows Have an Inner Light, ed. no. 8-H, d. 1989, embossed painting on paper, 40 x 30 inches, OC340-2

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The Continuity of the Sun and Moon, ed. no. 18, d. 1988, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Butterfly, d. 1979, lithograph on paper, 30 x 40 inches

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Celebration of Life, ed. no. 12, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Der Mond, ed. no. 5-A, d. 1988, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Companionship, ed. no. 10-B, d. 1995, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches, OC143-1

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God Gave us Food the Devil Brought Cooks, ed. no. 22, d. 1966, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches

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Agnus Dei, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Santo Nino de Atocha, ed. no. 11, d. 1982, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Cross, ed. no. 20, d. 1982, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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So Many Men, So Many Opinions, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches

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Siempre Musica, ed. no. 27, d. 1987, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches

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Speak to Me of Apples for I Have tired of Love, ed. no. 2-A, d. 1987, embossed paintings, 40 x 30 inches

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St. Francis, d. 1986, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Refracted Image (An Observation about Fraternal Twins), 1st state, ed. no. 21, embossed painting, 25 x 34 inches, OC35

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Garden of Eden, ed. no. D-3, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches, OC99

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Symbols, ed. no. 15, d. 1991, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

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Sandia Butterfly, d. 1979, lithograph on paper, 30 x 40 inches

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Tarahumara Pot with Applied Tin, fired clay and tin, 22 h x 24 d inches, OC99

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Mexican Pot Refashioned with Tin, ceramic with tin, 13-5/8 h x 15 d, OC99

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Cows Have an Inner Light, ed. no. 8-H, d. 1989, embossed painting on paper, 40 x 30 inches, OC340-2

The Continuity of the Sun and Moon, ed. no. 18, d. 1988, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Butterfly, d. 1979, lithograph on paper, 30 x 40 inches

Celebration of Life, ed. no. 12, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Der Mond, ed. no. 5-A, d. 1988, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Companionship, ed. no. 10-B, d. 1995, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches, OC143-1

God Gave us Food the Devil Brought Cooks, ed. no. 22, d. 1966, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches

Agnus Dei, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Santo Nino de Atocha, ed. no. 11, d. 1982, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Cross, ed. no. 20, d. 1982, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

So Many Men, So Many Opinions, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches

Siempre Musica, ed. no. 27, d. 1987, embossed painting, 30 x 40 inches

Speak to Me of Apples for I Have tired of Love, ed. no. 2-A, d. 1987, embossed paintings, 40 x 30 inches

St. Francis, d. 1986, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Refracted Image (An Observation about Fraternal Twins), 1st state, ed. no. 21, embossed painting, 25 x 34 inches, OC35

Garden of Eden, ed. no. D-3, d. 1997, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches, OC99

Symbols, ed. no. 15, d. 1991, embossed painting, 40 x 30 inches

Sandia Butterfly, d. 1979, lithograph on paper, 30 x 40 inches

Tarahumara Pot with Applied Tin, fired clay and tin, 22 h x 24 d inches, OC99

Mexican Pot Refashioned with Tin, ceramic with tin, 13-5/8 h x 15 d, OC99