Ruth Leaf was an American printmaker renowned for her etchings and woodcuts. Born in New York City, she studied at the New School for Social Research, the Art Students League and Atelier 17 with innovative printmaker, Stanley William Hayter. During her career, she has worked with a variety of print methods including etching, woodcuts, monoprints, computer prints and mixed media. For many years, Ruth lived and worked in her studio in Douglaston, New York. There she founded the Ruth Leaf Studio School where a generation of American printmakers received her tutelage. In conjunction with her teaching, she wrote Etching, Engraving and Other Intaglio Printmaking Techniques (Watson-Guptill). It continues to be a pivotal text for art students and printmakers.
Ruth Leaf’s artwork has been exhibited at the Library of Congress, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition, she has shown in numerous private and university galleries. Ruth was honored with the Edna Stauffer Award from the National Association of Women Artists, and the Tonner Award from the American Society of Color Prints. She has been a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, the American Color Print Society and regional printmaking groups.
In the late 1990s, Ruth Leaf moved to Venice, California where she continued to explore seen and unseen worlds in her art works. She began producing small editions of etchings and woodcuts which she hand colored.
“As a young artist I would try to express the feelings the visual world engendered in me in an expressionistic manner. As time went by, however; form, color, design and feelings became more and more exciting. I felt then that being more abstract allowed me to express the essence of things. This began my exploration of expressive abstraction.”