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"I've a rich experience in the past, both teaching and learning from my students, but I do believe that my best canvas is the one I'm going to start tomorrow. It is fun to live in hope."
-Elizabeth Ruggles, The Advance of Bucks County, Newtown, 1995
After working as a commercial artist for thirty years, Elizabeth Ruggles retired from the New Jersey State Health Department and from Lenox China to devote herself entirely to painting and teaching. Her oils and drawings have been viewed by appreciative audiences throughout the Bucks County and nearby New Jersey areas for over forty years. Ruggles' style ranges from Realism to Impressionism. She uses exciting colors, amplifying the mood and setting through use of space and light. Ruggles' subject matter includes landscapes, seascapes, flowers, small animals, and the human figure, which she handles with great sensitivity. She enjoys creating portraits and has painted four federal judges. Ruggles has taught art classes in both lettering and oil painting for thirty-five years.
Elizabeth Ruggles, 1985. Unidentified photographer. Image courtesy of the artist.
Education and Training
Colorado University, Colorado, 1937-1938
School of Industrial Arts, Trenton, New Jersey, 1940-1944
Summers at the National Academy of Design, New York, New York
Summers at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Teachers and Influences
Ruggles liked the work of the late nineteenth century painters, both academicians and impressionists.
She attended summer schools with Jerry Farnsworth at Cape Cod and studied with Robert Brackman.
Connection to Bucks County
Ruggles moved from Trenton, New Jersey, across the river to Morrisville, Bucks County, in 1971.
Ruggles was instrumental in forming The Group, a group of twenty painters who met informally on a monthly basis in the 1980s to share ideas and techniques. They exhibited together at the Coryell Gallery in Lambertville.
Affiliations and Memberships
Bucks County Council for the Arts
Elizabeth Ruggles (1915-2013), Mother and Child. n.d. Image courtesy of the artist. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Major Solo Exhibitions
Allerbescht Gallery, Telford, Pennsylvania, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1986
Art for Christmas, Allerbescht Gallery, Telford, Pennsylvania, 1984
Upstairs Gallery, Lahaska, Pennsylvania, 1988
50 Years of Figures and Portraits, Norbert Considine Gallery, Stuart County Day School, Princeton, New Jersey, 1995
Gallery By The Hill, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
Woodmere Art Gallery, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
Major Group Exhibitions
Art Annual, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1960s
Bucks County Traveling Art Gallery, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1967
Phillips' Mill Annual Juried Art Exhibition, 1977, 1979, 1989, 1997
The Group, Coryell Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1980
Princeton Art Association, Princeton, New Jersey, 1980
The Human Presence, Rodman House, Doylestown, 1981
The Human Presence, Coryell Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1982
Art by Bucks County Women, Bucks County Council of the Arts, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1984
10th Open, Doylestown Art League, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1984
Paintings of the Four Seasons by The Group, Coryell Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1986
Landscape Painters of the Delaware River, Trenton, New Jersey, 1988
Bucks Biennial II, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1994
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
Hunterdon County Art Center, Clinton, New Jersey
Commemorative plate, Lenox China, Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Elizabeth Ruggles taught art for thirty-five years at the following schools:
Art Instructor, Pennington Art Center, Pennington, New Jersey
Art Instructor, School of Industrial Art, Trenton, New Jersey
Art Instructor, Yardley Art Center, Yardley
Art Instructor, Princeton Art Association, Princeton, 1974-1988
Special Patron's Prize, Phillips' Mill Community Association, New Hope, 1977
Special Patron's Award, Phillips' Mill Community Association, New Hope, 1979
Second Patron's Award for Paining, Phillips' Mill Community Association, New Hope, 1989
Award for Oil, Deep Run Packing Company, Doylestown Art League, Doylestown, 1984
Patron's Award, Phillips' Mill Community Association, New Hope, 1994
Paul L. Gill Memorial Prize, Woodmere Art Gallery (now the Woodmere Art Museum), Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
Koch Drawing Prize, Woodmere Art Gallery (now the Woodmere Art Museum), Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania