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Ruth W. Smith

Ruth Wolf Smith was born in Salt Lake City in 1912. She was a painter of imaginative modernist figures and an important regionalist painter in the 1960s. After 1947, she and her husband owned and operated the Ruth and Paul Smith Art Studios. She died in 1980.

Smith had her art instruction at Fresno State College from 1932 until 1933. She also received instruction from Edwin Evans, Frank Ward Kent, Caroline Parry, and with her husband, S. Paul Smith from 1931 until 34.

She combined her interest in figurative and symbolic work in Allegory of the 1960 Presidential Election (1960), a painting for which she is most noted, which is part of the Springville Museum of Art's permanent collection. The Reclining Figure (1939) is an example of her figurative work.

Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.

Ruth found her niche as painter of imaginative and glowing modernist and visionary figure pieces on canvas before mid-century. She pursued early training originally at Fresno State College (1932-33), and then from 1931 to 1934 with Edwin Evans (q.v), Frank Ward Kent (q.v.), Caroline Parry (q.v.), as well as her husband, S. Paul Smith. Also, Smiths owned and operated their Ruth and Paul Smith Studios after 1947. Even though there are normally fewer words written about Ruth Smith than Paul Smith, in retrospect it is her work that is far more interesting artistic outcome of two careers.

Biography courtesy Artists of Utah.

Newspaper Articles

"Artists Included in E-Spousing Art Show." The Deseret News, September, 2003.


Dunbier, Roger, ed. North American Artists: The Artists Bluebook. Scottsdale, AZ: AskART.com, 2000.

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Southwest Art. Master Index 1971-1993. Boulder, CO: Southwest Art, 1993.

Southwest Art. Red Book Price Guide to Western American Art. Houston, TX: Cowles Enthusiast Media, 1993.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Paintings and Sculpture. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publishers, 1991.


Southwest Art. "May Stephen, Euphoria, Turmoil, and Innovation." Southwest Art, August 1999.


 Last Modified 4/1/20