Museum Highlight

Ruth Farrelly

Our first highlight of 2019 was displayed in the Sir John Madejski Art Gallery, Reading Museum as part of the RGA Museum Pop-up in February 2018 and then for a further year as part of Patrons and Donors: Reading’s Art And How it Got Here… [Highlighted: Jan – Feb 2018]

Being Modified II
by Ruth Farrelly (1918–2018)

Date: 1998

RGA member: 1973–2018

Reading Museum Accession Number
REDMG : 2000.113.1

In the 1970s the Reading Town Hall and buildings survived the threat of demolition. The Museum and Art Gallery had been closed since 1989 when a decade later “In January 1998 a small group of artists, dressed in warm clothing and sturdy shoes, put on hard hats required for a building site. We began our first of several visits to areas of the Museum of Reading and Town Hall that had been shut up for nearly ten years”.

Ruth Farrelly was one of the seven artists chosen from the RGA members for their wide range of mediums and styles plus a willingness to work over two years. The collection of work produced was then exhibited as part of the Reading Museum’s Artist at Work – more than a lick of paint.

A member since 1973, Ruth studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, Holborn and then trained as a teacher, and for many years taught adult education classes in Berkshire. She studied printmaking at South Hill Park, and also in France for two years. A friend and fellow member Jean Aust says “She was the most instinctive artist for line, composition, and colour that I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside. Ruth was a real asset to the RGA by regularly offering her professional creations for exhibition and for the years she spent on RGA Council.” Until recently she was also a keen participant in our Earley Painters sessions. Sadly Ruth passed away in her centenary year just days before the RGA Museum Pop-up in February 2018 where this linocut was being exhibited.

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