a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing

Alice Rahon (1904–1987) was a French and Mexican poet and artist, who contributed to the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism in Mexico. She exhibited frequently in the United States and Mexico, particularly from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Rahon traveled extensively and was a part of the Surrealist movement in Europe, befriending Anaïs Nin and Frida Kahlo, among other writers and artists. She later settled in Mexico where she began painting, receiving her first exhibition in 1944 at the Galería de Arte Mexicano with Inés Amor. Her themes for both her poems and her paintings included landscapes, mythical elements, legends, Mexican festivals, and elements of nature. She devoted her life to painting and visual art, experimenting in theater and film later in her career.

Beatrice Brasefield Rakestraw (1896–1953) received her degree in Greek from Stanford in 1917. She later worked as an editor for Art Index, a New York–based magazine published by Alice Maria Dougan and Margaret Furlong. From 1948 to 1951 she also most likely worked as a librarian at the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library in Maine.

Anne Ratkowski (1903–unknown) was a painter and member of the November Group, a loose network of radical artists in Berlin created in 1918 under the impression of the November revolution. In 1938 she would burn her work before escaping Nazi Germany and fleeing to Belgium. She survived by living in hiding and was able to immigrate to the United States after the war.

Ida Rauh (1877–1970) was a lawyer, suffragist, activist, and artist who helped found the Providence Players. The theater group would move from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Greenwich Village, where Rauh had graduated from New York University’s law school. While involved with the Hull House project in Chicago, she met Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, Alice Hamilton, Florence Kelley, and Sophonisba Breckinridge, with whom she established the Women’s Trade Union League. The objective of the organization was to educate women about the advantages of trade union membership, fighting for better working conditions and raising awareness about the exploitation of women workers. Rauh would later become active in the feminist Heterodoxy group, a feminist debate society based in Greenwich Village in the early 20th century, and help Mabel Dodge form her Village salon. Her activism in New York included supporting Margaret Sanger’s campaign and distributing information on birth control, for which she was arrested but received a suspended sentence.

Gwen Mary Raverat (1885–1957) was a founding member of the Society of Wood Engravers and the granddaughter of Charles Darwin. After studying at the Slade School as one of the first women to attend art school in England, Raverat was influenced by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists and went on to become one of the first wood engravers to be considered modern. She focused primarily on illustrations and was credited with having produced one of the first two books illustrated with modern wood engravings. She had completed over sixty wood engravings by 1914, which was far more than any of her contemporaries. Raverat was also involved in the Bloomsbury Group and spent much of her life in Cambridge, England.

Elizabeth Read (1872–1943) was born in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. She attended Smith College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she earned her law degree. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement, leading campaigns and marches to further the cause. Read lived with her partner, Esther Lape, in New York and worked for the state branch of the League of Women Voters. Over the years she became a political and feminist mentor. Read also practiced law and with Lape was a director of research for the American Foundation. When Eleanor Roosevelt became the director of the League’s National Legislation Committee in 1920, Read and Lape soon became acquainted with her, and a lifelong political partnership and warm friendship developed. Together they worked on a multi-year effort to encourage American participation in the World Court. Read served as Roosevelt’s personal attorney and financial advisor until Franklin D Roosevelt was elected to office.

Helen Appleton Read (1887–1974) was a Brooklyn-born art historian and critic. She attended Smith College where she studied art history from 1904 to 1908, a time when, as she stated, “going to college was not the usual thing to do.” Read went on to study painting at the Art Students League, as well as at the New York School of Art, and spent three months in Giverny, France, under the tutelage of American Impressionist Richard E. Miller. By 1916, however, she returned to art history and began writing for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, followed by a position as the art editor at Vogue. Throughout her career she contributed numerous critical and historical texts to art periodicals, exhibition catalogues, and institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art. She later became the president of Portraits, Inc., a New York gallery associated with many of the artists in the National Arts Club. In the January/February 2010 edition of Antiques Magazine, Lisa Schlansker Kolosek describes her as “one of the most influential American art critics of her time,” and credits her with helping “to bring modernism into the American spotlight.”

Hilla Rebay (1890–1967) was a German aristocrat, art collector, and painter. Introduced to the Dada movement in Berlin, she subsequently became involved in the European avant-garde, exhibiting her work in many group exhibitions. Along with Dada artist Hannah Höch, Rebay was one of the few female members of the November Group of radical German artists and architects. Rebay immigrated to the United States and lived in New York City, where she became an enthusiastic collector of art. Between 1920 and 1937, she advised Solomon Guggenheim on the purchase of more than seven hundred artworks. When Guggenheim opened the Museum of Non-Objective Painting in 1939, Rebay was selected as director. She hung the paintings on heavy drapery, boldly pairing domesticity with the avantgarde. She was appointed to the museum’s original board of directors but was forced to resign from her position in 1952. Best known for her taste in modern art, Rebay received modest recognition for her abstract paintings.

Anne Rector (1899–1970) was an American artist who studied landscape painting at the Art Students League of New York with fellow student Peggy Bacon. She later directed the Rector Studios that produced glass top tables.

Florence Reece (1900–1986) was a singer-songwriter and activist from Tennessee. The daughter of coal miners, Reece wrote “Which Side Are You On?” at just twelve years old, when a family member was taking part in the Harlan County War strike by the United Mine Workers of America and the National Miners Union. It was her best-known song and has become a staple of American folk songs, covered by many contemporary singers and bands. Reece made an appearance in the Academy Award–winning documentary Harlan County, USA singing “Which Side Are You On?” to striking miners. She spent much of her life advocating for unions and social welfare.

Daisy Cargile Reed was a founder of the Utopia Neighborhood Club, a Harlem-based women’s social service organization. After interviewing neighborhood parents and children about their needs, she helped to found the Utopia Children’s Center, a progressive daycare, and the Corona Teen-Age Club, a recreation and educational center for teenagers in her hometown of Corona, New York.

Lilly Reich (1885–1947) was an influential, yet under-recognized, German modernist designer and architect from Berlin. In 1908 Reich began working at the Vienna Workshop, a visual arts production company. Three years later she returned to Berlin, where she designed furniture and clothing. In 1912 Reich became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation), an organization that promoted German-made products and design. She would become the first woman elected to their governing boar d in 1920. Reich spent much of her early career working in the studios of prominent modernist interior and furniture designers, and by 1914 she had opened a studio of her own in Berlin, specializing in exhibition design, fashion, and interiors. In 1929 she was the artistic director for the German contribution to the Barcelona World Exhibition. She was invited to teach at the Bauhaus in 1930 and was one of their only female instructors, teaching interior and furniture design. Reich’s studio was bombed in 1943 during World War II.

Grete Reichardt (1907–1984) began studying at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1925, specializing in the weaving workshop with Gunta Stözl. She became a freelance employee of the workshop in 1930 and received her diploma the following year. She participated in an array of projects for the Bauhaus, including the Federal School of German Trade Unions, the Dessau Opera Café and the development of steel-thread weaving. Reichardt went on to direct her own weaving workshop and hand-weaving mill. She participated in numerous handicraft exhibitions, such as that at the Leipzig Grassi Museum in 1936, and received an honorary diploma in 1937 at the World Exhibition in Paris. In 1939, her designs for industrial textiles were distinguished with a Gold Medal at the Triennale in Milano. Reichardt was later awarded a Golden Honorary Diploma in 1951 for her Gobelin tapestries.

Edna Reindel (1900–1990) was a painter, sculptor, teacher, and muralist born in Detroit, Michigan. Upon graduation from the Pratt Institute in 1923, Reindel worked as a book illustrator and freelance commercial artist for a number of years. After studying on a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship and hanging her first solo show in New York in 1934, Reindel painted a mural for a housing project in Stamford, Connecticut, and worked on a Treasury Department mural for the U.S. Post Office in Swainsboro, Georgia. These commissions brought other mural work, and soon she was known for her bold delineated style of painting. Though best remembered for her flowers and still lifes, she also painted a large series of New England scenes at Martha’s Vineyard, where she vacationed. Her paintings are included in the collections of numerous museums, and she was the recipient of awards from organizations including the Tiffany Foundation, the Art Directors Club, and the Beverly
Hills Art Festival.

Helen Lansdowne Resor (1886–1964) was the first woman to successfully plan and write a national advertising campaign. She began her career working at local manufacturing companies in Ohio, eventually writing retail ads for a local newspaper. She was hired at the ad agency Procter & Collier as copywriter in 1907. When J. Walter Thompson Co. opened their Cincinnati office, she became their first female copywriter in 1908, and was later promoted to their New York office in 1911. There she worked on the introductory campaign for Crisco shortening. In 1916 her husband bought the agency and they ran the business together. Resor was best known for creating the style of feature story advertising that closely resembles the surrounding copy in editorial publications. Her advertising strategies were also some of the first to introduce sexual contact in magazine ads. She was listed as #14 in AdAge’s list of “100 Advertising People in the 20th Century.”

Jeanne Reynal (1903–1983) was a pioneering mosaic artist who played an important role in the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York. She studied the ancient art of stone mosaic as an apprentice with Russian mosaicist Boris Anrep in Paris from 1930 to 1938, and revitalized the medium by reinterpreting it through abstraction. Raynal settled into a studio in New York City in 1946 and soon became an active member and collector of the Abstract Expressionists. Her mosaic works, which consisted of both free-standing sculptures and two-dimensional tiled pieces, were exhibited at the influential Stable Gallery in the 1950s. Having traveled widely, Reynal drew on cultural influences from the Byzantine period to the present, from historical Mexican and Greek civilizations to the modern American Southwest. Her works are in the museum collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Denver Art Museum, among others.

Katharine Rhoades (1885–unknown) was an artist and poet in New York. Her work was included in the 1913 Armory Show. Rhoades became interested in modern art during a trip to Paris in 1908 with Marion Beckett, who also exhibited in the Armory Show. Between 1908 and 1913 Rhoades was one of the active members in a circle of American artists, including Marion Beckett, involved in Dada. Rhoades had her first exhibition at the popular Dada gallery 291 in 1915 and was published alongside Mina Loy in Camera Work. In addition to exhibiting at 291, Rhoades helped produce the magazine 291, seen as a significant facet of the Dada movement in New York. Rhoades’s collaborative poetry demonstrated an interest in fashioning new images and perceptions through visual poems. In her poetry, as in her painting, she emphasized subjective, individual expression over empirical data. In 1917 Rhoades was nominated in the Bulletin of the Dada Movement for president of the Independent Artists Association along with Mabel Dodge and Mina Loy.

Lady (Margaret) Rhondda (1883-1958) was a Welsh peer and active suffragist. In 1908, at age 25, she also became actively involved in England’s women’s movement, campaigning for women’s right to vote. She went to jail for having attempted to blow up a mailbox as part of a militant campaign waged by the Women’s Social and Political Union between 1912 and 1914. Margaret began a hunger strike and because of the brutality, and subsequent publicity, involved in the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners, the WSPU strongly encouraged its incarcerated members to follow this path. Margaret was soon released due to authorities' concerns about her health. After her father's death, Lady Rhondda tried to take his seat in the House of Lords, citing the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which allowed women to exercise "any public office". The Committee of Privileges, after an initially warm reaction, eventually voted strongly against Lady Rhondda's plea. She succeeded her father as Chairman of the Sanatogen Company in February 1917. In total, she was a director of more than thirty companies throughout her life. By 1920, Margaret was devoting the majority of her resources to Time and Tide, a weekly magazine that she founded which promoted feminist and left-wing causes, literature and the arts. A year later, she founded the Six Point Group of Great Britain with Helen Archdale, an organization focused on resolving what they perceived as the six most pressing issues for women: including legislation on child assault, for widows, and unmarried mothers and their children, as well equal rights of guardianship for married parents, equal pay for teachers, and equal opportunities for men and women in the civil service. After divorcing her husband, Archdale and Rhondda lived together for several year. After their separation, Rhondda continued to have deeply involved and romantic relationships with women, notable with the younger writer Winifred Holtby. Rhondda spent the last 25 years of her live with the writer Theodora Bosanquet, who was Time and Tide’s literary editor from 1935-43 and became its director thereafter.

Alice Rideout (1874–unknown) was an American sculptor best known for her work on the Women’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She attended high school in San Francisco and later the San Francisco School of Design. When she was only nineteen years old, Rideout won a competition for the 1893 World’s Fair, awarding her the role of designing the architectural sculpture for the pediment of the Women’s Building.

Lola Ridge (1873–1941) was a poet born in Dublin and raised in New Zealand and Australia. After finishing her formal education in England, Ridge moved to New York in 1908. Her poetry appeared in both popular publications and Emma Goldman’s Mother Earth. After World War I, she became the American editor of the modernist magazine Broom. Ridge published five books of poetry and often wrote on topics such as social justice and anarchist struggles. She was an early supporter of women’s rights as well as anti-racist actions. In 1929 she was invited to stay at the Yaddo residency by its director, Elizabeth Ames. Ridge would spend two consecutive summers at Yaddo, befriending and collaborating with artists, musicians, and writers such as Evelyn Scott and Henrietta Glick. She preferred as much seclusion as possible in order to write, and Yaddo provided such an environment. She finished her book of poems Firehead while there. Ridge was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and traveled to Taos, New Mexico, and Mexico.

Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins (1887–1963) was an American socialist labor organizer who first connected with the Industrial Workers of the World during the 1912 Bread and Roses strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She became a key organizer during a following strike in Little Falls, New York, running the strike office, organizing a strike kitchen, raising money and legal aid, and making sure the picket line stood strong over the course of fourteen weeks. Robbins and activist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn were then hired by the IWW and spent three years traveling across the United States to assist with labor organizing. Despite the IWW’s supposed support for equal rights and women’s sexual freedom, they often promoted a domestic ideal for women, which disillusioned Robbins to their cause. She believed in opportunities for women beyond wife and mother, fighting for access to economic independence and political power. Robbins gave birth to a daughter in 1919 outside of marriage and remained committed to politics even while a single mother. Though she cut ties with the IWW in 1915, she continued to work as a labor organizer, editor, and social worker for the remainder of her life.

Mary Fanton Roberts (1864–1956) was born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved as a young girl to Deadwood, in the Montana territory. When she was old enough, she and her sister were sent back to New York to attend the Albany Female Academy. After finishing school, Roberts pursued journalism and became a staff writer for four years for the Herald Tribune, the Journal, and the Sun in New York. During her long career she was editor of the illustrated monthly Demorest’s, editor-in-chief of New Idea Woman’s Magazine, managing editor of the Craftsman, and creator and editor of the Touchstone Magazine and Decorative Arts magazine. Her longest period at one publication was seventeen years as editor of Arts and Decoration. She often wrote articles on the topic of decorative arts and home decorating, and published two books, Inside 100 Homes and 101 Ideas for Successful Interiors. Roberts was very involved in the artistic, theatrical, and literary circles in New York City, and she became friends with many American avant-garde artists. Roberts was active in organizations such as the Women’s City Club, Pen and Brush, and the MacDowell Society. As an avid supporter of modern dance, she became close to many performers, including Isadora Duncan and Angna Enters. Roberts moved to the Chelsea Hotel in 1941, where she lived for the rest of her life. She maintained lifelong relationships with a wide circle of friends and continued to correspond with them and attend social events until her death at the age of ninety-two.

Fay Jackson Robinson (1902-1988) was one of the first African Americans to attend the University of Southern California, where she became heavily involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She became the vice president of the junior branch of NAACP in 1925, which successfully boycotted W.E.B. DuBois's play Star of Ethiopia. Robinson possessed critically engaging journalism skilled fueling the publication of a news and literary magazine Flash in 1928. Robinson surveyed and published writing about politics and race issues for Charlotta Bass's California Eagle. Later, in 1933, she and her friends created the Eagle, another publication covering important issues relevant to race and gender. She wrote for the Chicago Defender and the Association of Negro Publishers, for which she wrote about African American movie stars in Hollywood like Clarence Muse and Bill Robinson. She worked for the U.S. Department of Defense and later, by the 1950s she earned her realtor's license. She used her skills to advocate for African American housing issues in California.

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874–1948) was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and one of the primary founders of MoMA. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Rockefeller was educated by private tutors and was enrolled at Miss Abbott’s School for Young Ladies at the age of eighteen. Soon thereafter she began her travels across Europe, gaining the aesthetic education that would greatly influence her interest and taste in modern art. In 1901 Rockefeller settled in New York City, and in 1913 she built a nine-story mansion in midtown Manhattan. In 1925 she began collecting contemporary American artists as well as European modernists. She became one of the driving forces in the founding of MoMA in 1929, along with her friends Lillie P . Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan, and later served on the boar d of trustees. She also contributed works to numerous other museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters. Rockefeller was dedicated to the advancement of women, participating in the Colony Club, the Women’s City Club, and the Women’s National Republican Club, along with co-founding the Cosmopolitan Club, which included notable members Margaret Mead and Willa Cather.

Henrietta Rodman (1877–1923) was an educator and a feminist. After graduating in 1904 from the Teachers College at Columbia University, she worked at the city’s first public high school for girls, Wadleigh High. She came into conflict with the New York City Board of Education, however, when she opposed the schools’ restrictive policies on married female teachers, advocating for their rights to promotion and maternity leave. In 1912, as a member of the Liberal Club, she advocated for the inclusion of African-American members and challenged the club’s male-centric politics. Rodman wore loose clothing and bobbed hair long before it was fashionable, or acceptable, for women to do so, and she advocated free love, marrying her friend Herman de Fremery and living together with his earlier common-law wife. She also adopted two children. Rodman played an instrumental role in encouraging the members of the Liberal Club members to move to Greenwich Village in 1913. This space would become the home of the Heterodoxy Club, a radical feminist club founded by Marie Jenney Howe in 1912, to which Rodman belonged. The Heterodoxy, a feminist debate society based in Greenwich Village in the early 20th century, was known to include women in same-sex relationships, and their relationships were treated with as much respect as heterosexual ones. In 1914   t Rodman formed the Feminist Alliance, enabling several feminist causes to work together, particularly in the areas of collective housing, childcare, and communal kitchens. One of these efforts was a serious plan for a Charlotte Perkins Gilman–inspired all-female apartment building, although the onset of WWI prevented its realization. During the war, Rodman was active in the Woman’s Peace Party and lectured on pacifism. She died in March 1923, after unsuccessful surgery for a brain tumor, at the young age of forty-five.

Ottilie Wilhelmine Roederstein (1859–1937) was a German-Swiss painter and long-time companion of Elisabeth Winterhalter, one of the first female doctors in Germany. Despite opposition from her family and general social conventions, Roederstein was eventually allowed to study painting with a Swiss painter close to her home. She was clearly a talented portrait painter and moved to Berlin to live with her sister’s family and study at a special women’s class. Roederstein’s first solo exhibition was well received in Zurich in 1882, and she moved to Paris the following year to take a position as an assistant in the studios of Carolus-Duran and Jean-Jacques Henner. She was able to support herself solely on her artwork by 1887 and won a Silver Medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1889. Roederstein settled with Winterhalter in a suburb of Frankfurt by 1907, and the following year the pair founded the Schillerschule, Frankfurt’s first school for girls. Roederstein exhibited regularly until 1931.

Grace Rainey Rogers (1867–unknown) was born to a wealthy American family who had earned their wealth in the coal industry. She used her fortune to become an art collector and philanthropist, commissioning the Rainey Memorial Gates at the Bronx Zoo. Her influence can also be seen at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at MoMA.

Lou Rogers (1879–1952), born Ana Lucasta Rogers, was a prolific editorial cartoonist whose work primarily supported women’s suffrage. Born in Maine, Rogers attended the Massachusetts Normal Art School where she later dropped out to travel to Washington D.C. and New York City, pursuing her dream of becoming a cartoonist. She began submitting work under the name Lou Rogers after being rejected on account of her gender. Her work quickly appeared in publications such as Ladies’ Home Journal, New York Call, and the New York Tribune. Her political work in support of women’s suffrage also appeared in the Suffragist, Woman Citizen, and Woman Voter, among others. Rogers was a member of the Heterodoxy, a feminist debate society based in Greenwich Village, and often appeared as a soapbox orator in Times Square. After the passage of women’s suffrage, she began working on illustrations for children and later hosted a weekly NBC radio program called Animal News Club. She spent the remainder of her years living in Connecticut.

Mary C. Rogers (1820–unknown) was a founding member of the Nineteenth Century Club, a women’s club just outside Chicago, in 1891. Rogers used her philanthropy to help fund the club itself. She was also an art collector and one of the lenders to the 1913 Armory Show.

Alice Rohrer was a member of the Rope, a group of students who were followers of spiritual leader G.I. Gurdjieff in Paris. She was a milliner from San Francisco and entered the group while the companion of author Katherine Hulme.

Louise Emerson Ronnebeck (1901–1980) was an American painter best known for her murals executed for the Works Progress Administration. Ronnebeck graduated from Barnard College in New York and later studied art at the Art Students League in the early 1920s, spending her summers studying fresco painting at the Écoles d’Art Américaines in Fontainebleu, France. While at the Taos art colony of arts patron Mabel Dodge, she met her husband, modernist painter Arnold Rönnebeck. They moved to Denver, Colorado, and she built a successful career documenting Western American history and social issues of the 1930s and ’40s. Ronnebeck produced a large body of easel paintings as well as many commissioned frescos in the Denver area, though few survive.

Alice Roosevelt (1884–1980) was a writer, socialite, and arguably one of the twentieth century’s first global celebrities. She was the eldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and his first wife, Boston banking heiress Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, who tragically died of kidney failure two days after giving birth. Roosevelt was known as a rule-breaker for her smoking, her partying, and her pet snake, Emily Spinach. She was a fashion icon from a young age, and the color of her coming-out gown became known as “Alice Blue,” inspiring a color trend in women’s clothing. Soon, however, her political prowess became apparent, and her father sent her, along with Secretary of War William Howard Taft, to lead the American delegation Japan, Hawaii, China, the Philippines, and Korea. Alice continued to make headlines abroad, and upon the successful signing of the treaty that would mark the end of the Russo-Japanese War, President Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Roosevelt became more and more politically engaged throughout her life, earning her the nickname “The Other Washington Monument.” She served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention more than once, graced the cover of Time magazine, and rallied against the United States joining the League of Nations through her influence with legislators and her syndicated newspaper column. She was famously critical of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempts to combat the Great Depression, which further strained her relationship with her cousin, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt published her autobiography, Crowded Hours, in 1933.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, referred to by President Harry S. Truman as the “First Lady of the World” for her human rights activism and diplomacy. Roosevelt lost both her parents and a brother at a young age, and at fifteen left to study at Allenwood Academy in London. The feminist headmistress of the school, Marie Souvestre, proved influential to Roosevelt, and following her marriage to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she became an active part of her husband’s political life, convincing him to run for office after his partial paralysis from polio, and sometimes making public appearances on his behalf. After her husband’s inauguration, Roosevelt felt conflicted about inhabiting the first lady’s traditional role as a housewife and hostess; her changes shaped the position for years to come. She became the first presidential spouse to hold a press conference, write a syndicated newspaper column, and speak at a national convention, though she encountered controversy regarding her stance on racial issues and women’s rights in the workforce. Deemed the “Reluctant First Lady.” Roosevelt openly disagreed with her husband about America’s treatment of Asian Americans during World War II, and through her lectures and writing attempted to match his presidential salary. Roosevelt continued her political and humanitarian endeavors after his death, becoming one of the United Nations’ first delegates. As the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, she oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Helena Sophie Emilie Rosen (1868–1935), also known as Jelka, was a German artist. She was born in Belgrade to Georg Rosen and Serene Anna, who was also a painter. In 1892 she began studying art at Académie Colarossi in Paris, accompanied by her mother. While in Montparnasse she made the acquaintance of composers and artists such as Ida Gerhardi, and exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants. Jelka was widely read and multi-lingual, and she made several German translations of musical texts. She designed the scenery in Thomas Beecham’s 1920 revival of A Village Romeo and Juliet, and her own artwork appeared on the vocal score to Fennimore and Gerda. Jelka was portrayed by the British actress Maureen Pryor in the 1968 film Song of Summer.

Doris Rosenthal (1889–1971) was a painter, explorer, and educator known for her honest, expressive work depicting the everyday life of Mexican Indians. Born in Riverside, California, Rosenthal became a close friend of Helena Dunlap, the founder of the Los Angeles Modern Art Society, one of the first modernist groups in the region. The two traveled to Taos, New Mexico, where they participated in the inaugural exhibition at Santa Fe’s Fine Arts Museum. In 1918 Rosenthal won a scholarship to study at the New York Art Students League, and she continued her education at Los Angeles State Teachers College and Columbia University. While teaching at Columbia Teachers College, Doris had her first solo show at Morton Galleries in 1928, and published the Prim-Art Series, a series of unbound plates consisting of images from all over the world. The folio was arranged according to thematic motifs and came with its own lesson plans to use as teaching tools. It illustrated a growing trend in modernist art that looked to the “primitive” for inspiration, and earned her two Guggenheim fellowships to travel to Mexico. The resulting work, based on hundreds of sketches from her travels, would become her most celebrated, and she became known as a “regionalist” painter of Mexican themes. Her bright, colorful paintings were covered in major publications such as Life, Newsweek, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New Yorker, and her paintings were included in important exhibitions such as American Painting Today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1950.

Christina Rounds was one of twenty-five citizens appointed to a committee that worked with the directors of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences to secure a Museum of Arts and Sciences for Brooklyn, later forming the Brooklyn Museum.

Olga Rozanova (1886–1918) was an innovative Russian avant-garde artist whose work influenced later American abstract artists such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. She was born in Melenki and visited the art studios of K. Bolshakov and Konstantin Yuon in Moscow, while studying at the Stroganov School of Applied Art. In 1911 she became an active member of the Soyuz Molodyozhi (Union of the youth), and joined Supremus, a group of Russian avant-garde artists led by Kazimir Malevich. Her work from this time was strongly influenced by Cubism and Italian Futurism, and during his 1914 visit to Russia, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of the Italian Futurist movement, took particular notice of her work. Before her sudden death from diphtheria in 1917, Rozanova experimented with complete abstractions, focusing on pure color and visual weight, a trend later continued by the Abstract Expressionists in the 1950s.

Helena Rubinstein (1872–1965) was born to a Jewish family in Poland. Her eponymous cosmetic brand grew to be one of the biggest cosmetic companies of the early 1900s and made her the first self-made female billionaire, enabling her to become a collector of modern art and philanthropist. Madame Rubinstein, as she was known, moved to Australia in 1902 and opened the first Helena Rubinstein and Co. salon in Melbourne in 1903 with the slogan “beauty is power.” Her beauty salons were modeled after literary salons and exhibited many of the artworks she collected. She was one of the first supporters and exhibitors of European and Latin American modern art and one of the first collectors of art from Africa and Oceania as modern art. In 1953 the Helena Rubinstein Foundation was founded to support women’s education by awarding scholarships to those who desired an alternative degree or career path. When the Foundation was disbanded in 2011, it gifted $2 million to the City University of New York to allow the university to provide scholarships to prospective and continuing students.

Dorothy Ruddick (1925–) is an American artist who was born in Winnetka, Illinois. As an undergraduate at Radcliffe, she studied art history at the Fogg Museum. She later transferred to Black Mountain College and studied with Josef Albers. She has participated in many group exhibitions at venues including the Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her work is included in many museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1998 Ruddick took her long fascination with cloth and clothing in a new direction: while her previous portfolio of work consisted of fiber based abstractions stitched onto linen using silk, cotton, and wool thread, her current work explores the effect of drapery as it encircles the figure, using papier-mâché over forms created with polymer modeling compound.

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin (1842–1924) was an African-American icon, community leader, and women’s rights activist. She had a white, English mother and a father of African descent. As a woman of mixed ethnicity, she experienced racism and sexism throughout her life, but she and the other members of her family worked together in the abolitionist and suffragist movements. After Ruffin’s marriage in 1858, she completed two years of private tutoring in New York and invested her time in projects related to African-American women. In 1879 Ruffin she created the Boston Kansas Relief Association, which dedicated itself to helping African-American migrants settle in Kansas. In 1890 Ruffin founded and edited Women’s Era, a newspaper dedicated to the concerns of the African-American women of that time; it later evolved into the Women’s New Era Club in 1893. In 1903 the Women’s New Era Club disbanded, and Ruffin founded the League of Women for Community Service, which remains today. She worked with various organizations, conferences, and individuals around the United States to fight for equal rights until her death.

Ada Dwyer Russell (1863–1952) was a Mormon stage actress who performed on Broadway and in London. In March 1912 she met poet Amy Lowell, with whom she felt an immediate attraction. The women lived together for the remainder of the summer and entered into a long-term relationship. Russell soon ended all affiliation with Mormonism. In June 1914 she accepted the Lowell’s repeated requests to give up acting so they could live together permanently. Lowell’s biographer has compared these two domestic partners to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Russell was the subject of many of Lowell’s explicit poems, such as “The Taxi,” in which she conveys a strong sense of her separation from Russell and her pain. Lowell nicknamed Russell “Peter”—then current slang for penis—because of her well-known brashness. Lowell left her fortune in a trust to Russell when she died in 1925. Russell, responding to gossip, always insisted that they were only friends and continued those denials until her own death in 1952, twenty-seven years after her beloved companion.

Julia Ruuttila (1907–1991) was a journalist, writer, and political activist, who wrote stories, articles, and poems under many names, including her maiden name, Julia Godman. Her parents were socialists and her mother was a feminist who distributed birth control literature when such actions were illegal. Growing up in Oregon, she witnessed terrible working conditions in the logging camps and helped to organize the International Woodworkers of America’s union in 1935, as well as their Ladies Auxiliary group to support striking timber workers. Ruuttila was involved in many radical and labor-activist activities, including writing for leftist and labor-related publications like the International Woodworkers of America’s Timber Worker and the Communist Party’s People’s World. Though she held a position with the Oregon Public Welfare Commission, Ruuttila lost the job when she advocated for African Americans who had lost their homes to a flood. Despite never having joined the Communist Party herself, she was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956, during their inquiries into the Committee for Protection of Foreign Born. Ruuttila continued working with area unions and in 1965 served as the chair of the legislative committee of the International Longshoremen and Warehouseman’s Union Ladies’ Auxiliary and as a Democratic party precinct committee representative. Ruuttila also demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, agitated for a unilateral freeze on nuclear proliferation, opposed the storage of nerve gas in Oregon, and lobbied against state sales tax initiatives.

Beatrice Judd Ryan (1899–1966) was a prominent California painter, arts administrator, and writer known for her 1959 essay “The Rise of Modern Art in the Bay Area.” At a time when Diego Rivera and his art circle were prominent, Ryan was one of the few women painters working on major public commissions. She also exhibited at the Rotunda Gallery in Paris. With Maynard Dixon, Ryan was the founder of the Galerie Beaux-Arts, a small cooperative gallery in San Francisco, which ran from 1925 to 1933; it was the city’s first private gallery devoted to contemporary art. Galerie Beaux-Arts was one of the centers of social life for the San Francisco art establishment and bohemia of the 1920s, giving many artists, including Diego Rivera, their first San Francisco shows.

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