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Oral history interview with Ruth Armer, 1974 August 14

Armer, Ruth, 1896-1977

Collector, Painter


Collection Information

Size: 39 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 39 min.

Summary: An interview of Ruth Armer conducted 1974 August 14, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art. Armer speaks of her early interest in art; her education; moving to New York City in 1918; studying at the Art Students League under John Sloan, Robert Henri and George Bellows and the influences of Leo Stein and Max Weber. She discusses her early work in portrait painting; returning to San Francisco and working as a commercial artist; problems facing women artists in the 1930s; becoming a teacher; and her opinions of San Francisco art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ruth Armer (1896-1977) was a painter and art collector from San Francisco, California.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 3196 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ruth Armer, 1974 August 14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.