Chatfield mourns the loss of long-time supporter, John A. Ruthven. John received an honorary degree from Chatfield College in 2012. His wife, Judy, who passed away in 2011, posthumously received her honorary degree the same year. John and Judy were supporters of Chatfield with their time, talent, and treasure. They served on the board of trustees and established the “John & Judy Ruthven Endowed Scholarship.” The scholarship has supported many students dreams of a college education and has often supported students in Brown County who have shown an interest in art or historic preservation. Two weeks ago, one of John’s paintings, Winter Flight, was auctioned during ChatField of Dreams and featured two beautiful cardinals flying past the Sacred Heart Chapel on a snowy day.
John was a naturalist, author, lecturer, and internationally acknowledged master of wildlife art, and was often called the “20th Century Audubon.” His paintings have been included in acclaimed exhibitions such as The Artists of America Exhibition in Denver, Colorado, and the Society of Animal Artists, a traveling museum exhibition included at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in Oradell, New Jersey. His work has been featured at the Smithsonian Institution’s Preservation and Research Center; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin; the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, Jamestown, NY; and the Cincinnati Museum Center where a major retrospective exhibit of his work, “John A. Ruthven—In the Audubon Tradition,” was mounted. But, closest to Chatfield’s heart are the areas around campus where his paintings proudly hang. His work will forever remind us of the treasure of knowing such an amazing man from Brown County who could capture God’s creations with such emotion and grace. John, you are in our prayers.