Cultivator: The Curatorial and Artistic Practice of Ruth Fine in Context

Part of (re)FOCUS 2024, this installation within Artists as Cultivators spotlights Ruth Fine's artistic and curatorial contributions.

Color screenprint depicting a garden in reds, yellows, blues, and greens..Etching diptych depicting a landscape.

(left) Ruth Fine, "Garden," 1964. Color screenprint, ed 1/11, 15 x 16 in. (38.1 x 40.64 cm.). Gift of Ruth Fine, 2018.35.44; (right) Ruth Fine, "Landscape Diptych," 2017. Etching, ed. 13/25, 4 7/8 x 24 1/4 in. (12.3825 x 61.595 cm.). Gift of Ruth Fine, 2018.20.2.3.

The "Cultivator: The Curatorial and Artistic Practice of Ruth Fine in Context" installation in the Von Hess Works on Paper Gallery focuses on the artistic and curatorial practice of Ruth Fine, presented as part of (re)FOCUS. A citywide festival recognizing women artists, (re)FOCUS is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts in 1974. With over 150 exhibitions, panels, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations the 1974 festival was one of the first large-scale surveys of the work of contemporary American women artists, signaling the inception of the American Feminist Art Movement. 

Like its 1974 progenitor, (re)FOCUS 2024 takes place across city visual arts institutions, demonstrating how women identifying and BIPOC artists have increasingly moved from the periphery to the center of the art world, while suggesting the progress still to be made. Ruth Fine, whose work was included in the original festival, is recognized here not only for her printmaking practice, but for the care and community she has cultivated through decades of curatorial work. PAFA’s permanent collection includes 172 prints and proofs made by Ruth Fine. This section includes a selection of those prints relating to, or inspired by, nature. These are installed with works by artists she has curated, also from PAFA’s permanent collection. 

"Cultivator: The Curatorial and Artistic Practice of Ruth Fine in Context," is curated by Leah Triplett Harrington, Director of Exhibitions & Contemporary Curatorial Initiatives and Dr. Anna Marley, Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art, as part of Artists as Cultivators on view at PAFA February 8, 2024–July 7, 2024 in the Historic Landmark Building.


Artists as Cultivators