Ruth Penington photograph collection and artwork, approximately 1880-1936, 1985  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Penington, Ruth, 1905-1998
Ruth Penington photograph collection and artwork
approximately 1880-1936, 1985 (inclusive)
approximately 1880-1889 (bulk)
18 photographic prints
3 pencil sketches
2 woodcuts
Collection Number
Portrait photographs of various people, most unidentified; also included are three pencil sketches and two woodcuts
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Additional Reference Guides


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Ruth Esther Penington (1905-1998) was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado; her family moved to Seattle in 1907. After graduating high school, she went on to study art at the University of Washington, receiving a B.F.A. in 1927 and an M.F.A. in 1929. Penington continued her studies in summer sessions at Columbia University Teachers College, Carnegie Summer School at the University of Oregon, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. A faculty member of the University of Washington School of Art, Penington also served as director of the University's Henry Gallery and created her own summer art program, the Fidalgo Summer School of the Allied Arts (located in La Conner, Washington).

Although Penington worked in a variety of media, including painting and printmaking, she was best known for her metalwork and jewelry. She was involved with organizations such as Lambda Rho, Northwest Printmakers, and Friends of the Crafts. These groups worked to promote the arts and to organize exhibitions and sales featuring artists and craftspeople from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. She also was active as craftsman-trustee of American Crafts Council, New York.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of seventeen black and white portrait photographs, as well as one color photograph, three pencil sketches of Seattle scenes, and two woodcuts. Only a few of the portraits, made circa 1880, are identified; also included is a modern photograph of Ruth Penington. The pencil sketches depict scenes on Denny Hill in Seattle and appear to have been made circa 1928; the prints date from 1929 and 1936.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Photographs, circa 1880, 1985Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1 1985
1/2 2
Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Edith Corin
circa 1880
1/2 3
Clara and Norman (ages five and three)
circa 1880
1/2 4
Woman with infant and two young girls
Caption lists the names Mrs. Pennington [sic], Manning, Virginia, Mary, and Florence. The short-haired middle child is probably Mary; the infant may be Manning. Presumably, Virginia or Florence is the first name of the woman.
circa 1880
1/2 5
Man and woman
One caption reads "Laura and John," but another insists that the woman is "notLaura."
circa 1880
1/2 6
Maggie (Gilliland) Counts
circa 1880
1/2 7
Infant (possibly Manning)
circa 1880
1/3 8-9
Young couples
circa 1880
1/3 10
Woman with infant
circa 1880
1/3 11
Infant in carriage
circa 1880
1/3 12-19
Girls and women
circa 1880

Pencil sketchesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box-folder:oversize item
2/1 20-22
 Scenes on Denny Hill, Seattle
Item 22 depicts Sacred Heart Church on Denny Hill.
circa 1928

Woodcuts, 1929, 1936Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box-folder:oversize item
2/2 23
Three nude women among trees.
2/3 24
  Black and White Composition
Abstracted figure.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Girls--Washington (State)--Seattle--Portraits
  • Infants--Washington (State)--Seattle--Portraits
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)
  • Women--Washington (State)--Seattle--Portraits
  • Personal Names :
  • Penington, Ruth, 1905-1998--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Denny Hill (Wash.)--Drawings