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Ruth Van Sickle Ford papers, 1924-1986

Ford, Ruth Van Sickle, 1897-1989



Collection Information

Size: 1.4 Linear feet (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)

Summary: Correspondence, notes, photographs and printed materials documenting the artistic and teaching activities of Ford, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and Umbrella House.
REE:S 3955-56: Photographs (1949-1975) show Ford, her family and friends, works of art, the Umbrella House and other buildings. Fourteen letters (1969-1986) are from friends and art organizations. Twenty-six letters (1982) are from young students at the Allen School in Aurora, Illinois, thanking Ford for her visit. Printed materials consist of clippings (1941, 1926-1986), reproductions of Christmas card designs; exhibition announcements and catalogs (1948-1986), and a brochure about the Umbrella House. Other materials include 6 biographical accounts, 9 award certificates (1952-1977), 4 notebooks of photographs and information on art works (1949-1961), class outlines from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and a 1924 drawing by Claude Buck.
UNMICROFILMED: Printed materials, including 4 exhibition catalogs (1967-1976) from the American Watercolor Society, 2 wall calendars (1978, 1982) containing illustrations by Ford, clippings (1960-1982), a reproduction of a bookplate for "Arthur", a 1976 reunion book from West Aurora, a 1945 exhibition catalog for Carl Newland Werntz, and brochures about Bruce Goff, the architect of Umbrella House, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (1967-1972) and Aurora, Illinois.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ruth Van Sickle Ford was a painter and the first woman admitted to the Palette and Chisel Club in Chicago. She was president and owner of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts from 1936 to 1960, her best known student was William Mauldin.


Donated by Barbara Turner, Ford's daughter, 1987, except for material on reel 3956, frames 187-316, which were lent for microfilming.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 3956, frames 187-316: Originals in the possession of Barbara Turner.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 3955-3956 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Ruth Van Sickle Ford papers, 1924-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.