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Art / Biography / Wisconsin


In Celebration
The Life and Art of Ruth Grotenrath
Susan J. Montgomery

“The paintings of Ruth Grotenrath . . . are lively, colorful, warm, cheerful, and composed. Ruth found beauty in everything around her.” —Dean Sobel, former curator of contemporary art, Milwaukee Art Museum

In Celebration
details the life and art of Ruth Grotenrath (1912–88), an American artist whose work spanned the middle fifty years of the twentieth century. Tracing Grotenrath’s influences and methods of working—from her earliest American Regionalist paintings and WPA murals to the colorful still lifes that captured the imagination of her many fans and patrons—Susan Montgomery depicts the artist’s unique perceptions of her intimate environment and her efforts to reflect the vibrant beauty of the world around her. Her best-known works are sensual, bountiful floral still lifes.

In Celebration documents Grotenrath’s rich personal and professional life with her husband and fellow artist, Schomer Lichtner, through interviews, photographs, and newspaper articles. The pair, who became heralded as Milwaukee’s “first couple of art,” supported themselves as artists throughout their lives, even during the Depression and World War II. In the 1960s, Grotenrath traveled to Japan and studied Asian art, which influenced her work for the rest of her life.

Grotenrath’s work is represented in the collections of many museums, throughout the United States, primarily in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Susan Montgomery is a writer and book producer living in Milwaukee. She is cocreator, with Todd Montgomery, of What Really Matters Now  and Moments That Matter, inspirational books of photography. She is also the author of In the Moment, a book about Schomer Lichtner distributed by the UW Press.

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April 2011
160 pp.   9 x 12   201 illus.

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Paper $29.95 t
ISBN 978-0-9786019-1-1
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