Cincinnati MacDowell Society
MacDowell makes a place in the world for artists, because
art makes the world a better place.
John Aldrich Ruthven
Our hearts are deeply saddened by the loss of fellow MacDowell member,
Born November 12, 1924,
John passed away on October 11th, 2020, at the age of 95
John was an internationally celebrated master wildlife artist, naturalist, author,
and lecturer. He was awarded the National Medal of Art by President Bush in
2004. Often called the “20th Century Audubon,” Ruthven used many of the same
techniques as the famed John James Audubon.
From youth, Ruthven never doubted he would be an artist. “I continually took my
sketch pad with me wherever I went.” In search of wildlife for his paintings, John
climbed mountains and crossed streams in the Philippines, camped across Africa
and trekked through Alaska.
Awarded the National Medal of Art by President Bush in 2004
John, with Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon, created to commemorate the
100th anniversary of Martha’s death, and the extinction of the species.
Ruthven’s three-story mural of his original painting of Martha is at the corner of
Seventh and Vine streets. Ruthven climbed the scaffolding with student artists
to create the tribute.
Maryanne E. McGowan,
President Cincinnati MacDowell Society
2021 to 2023,
Welcome to the Cincinnati MacDowell Society, a special group of people with interest in the arts.
From its beginning in 1913, our members have included creative and performing artists as well as
those who love the diverse world of artistic expression. The programs given each year draw from
the rich and varied resources of artistic talent found primarily in the greater Cincinnati region.