In Celebrationdetails 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 Celebrationdocuments 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.
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