Every week during the exhibit “Aurora’s Own Ruth Van Sickle Ford,” we will feature one of the more than two dozen watercolor and oil paintings on display from March 3-May 13, 2023, at the Pierce Art and History Center. Accompanying the images will be commentary by art conservator and Aurora Historical Society museum assistant Scott Sherwood. We hope you will be engaged and enlightened by this feature and that you will come to the Pierce Center to see the paintings up close and personal. Exhibit hours are listed below.
“This painting wobbles like Jello on a plate,” says art conservator Scott Sherwood. “Only the visual center, the red star, is still.” Mrs. Ford was very much in tune, in 1938, with the great American painters whose influence can be seen in the leaning lines and simple human figures. The scene is unidentified but Scott thinks it might be East Hartford, Connecticut.
One of Ruth’s larger paintings, done at a time when she was still working primarily in oil, this busy, unidentified street scene was probably in the Eastern United States. This was owned by Leo “Lee” Winckler (1926-2004), who operated a beauty shop and was Ruth’s hairdresser. Ruth was known to pay her bills with paintings. Leo’s son, Greg, sold the painting to Sharon & Ed Stredde in 2011 and they gifted it to their son, Rob, that Christmas. Cleaned and restored by art conservator Scott Sherwood in 2011. Framed at the Proud Fox in Geneva.