Aurora’s Own Ruth Van Sickle Ford

The life and work of artist and educator Ruth Van SIckle Ford (1897-1989) is the subject of the spring exhibit at the Aurora Historical Society.

“Aurora’s Own Ruth Van Sickle Ford” will present her life story from her earliest days as the daughter of restaurateurs in Aurora to her distinguished career as both the owner of a major Chicago art school and a respected watercolorist who became a nearly cult figure for art students and collectors in Aurora.

Two dozen local collectors, some of whom studied painting under Mrs. Ford, are loaning their favorite pieces for the exhibit, which will open on Friday, March 3, 2023, and extend to May 13.   The exhibit is free, although donations are welcome, at the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., 60505.

Hours on opening day, which is a First Friday, will be 6-9 pm, with regular hours of Wed- Fri, Noon-4 pm, and Sat 10 am-4 pm for the remainder of the show.

A special feature of the exhibit will be gallery talks by Ford’s biographer, Nancy Smith Hopp, and art conservator and Historical Society museum assistant, Scott Sherwood.  Dates and times of the talks will be posted on the website.

There will be a separate section of the exhibit devoted to the free-spirited Bruce Goff-designed house that Mrs. Ford and her husband, Sam, commissioned in 1949 and lived in for 12 years.


Apr 07 2023


12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


David L. Pierce Art & History Center
20 East Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60505

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