b. Riverside, California April 5, 1893
d. Anaheim, California April 10, 1982
Ruth Powers was raised in San Diego, where she married William Ortlieb on July 30, 1916. Studying with several local artists, Ruth began exhibiting locally in the late 1920s. After receiving her B.A. degree from San Diego State College in 1931, she was hired by the San Diego City Schools to teach art that same year. A member of the San Diego Art Guild, she frequently exhibited throughout the state in the 1930s and early 1940s, and received several important awards for her work. By nature more progressive in her approach to painting, Ruth helped form the group calling themselves the San Diego Modems in the early 1930s. One of her paintings, a still-life owned by Clarence Hinkle, was exhibited at the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. Everett Gee Jackson, as chairman of the Art Department at San Diego State College, hired Ruth to teach beginning design in 1936, and remembers her as a progressive and intelligent individual. She left San Diego in the early 1940s, receiving her M.A. degree from Claremont College in 1942, having studied under Millard Sheets. Her travels included painting in Asia, Europe, Canada and Mexico.
(Ref. SDHC curatorial files)