October 19, 2023 The Carter celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ruth Carter Stevenson

A collage of three photos (L-R): A black-and-white photo of a White woman in the Carter's main gallery; a smiling elderly White woman leans out of a car window; A black-and-white photo of a young White woman leaning against a pillar on the Museum's façade.

This fall, the Carter is celebrating Ruth's legacy at the Carter and her monumental impact on the arts in Fort Worth and beyond.

Fort Worth, TX, October 19, 2023—This fall, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ruth Carter Stevenson on October 19, 1923. The daughter of Amon G. Carter Sr., Ruth was the founder and guiding light of the Museum, dedicating decades of her life to shaping our internationally recognized collection of American art. Under her leadership, the Carter opened to the public in 1961, and the Museum expanded its collection to include the best examples of American creativity across centuries.

“This fall, we are thrilled to be celebrating what would have been 100 years of Ruth” said Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director of the Carter. “A champion of the arts in her community and beyond, Ruth was the guiding light of the Museum, and we are excited to continue to follow in her footsteps as we look to the future. Like her father, she left behind a magnanimous legacy, one that will continue to bring joy and fulfillment to many future generations.”

In celebration, the inaugural Re/Framed rotation at the Carter, currently on view through March 31, 2024, highlights a selection of artworks acquired during Ruth’s lifetime. Re/Framed rotations offer new insights on the Carter’s collection, with artworks on view throughout the Museum’s collection galleries. This rotation features a selection of 26 photographs and works on paper collected under the vision of Ruth, including works by Lewis W. Hine, Laura Gilpin, Stuart Davis, John Henry Hill, and Marion Post Wolcott.

Ruth Carter Stevenson at the Carter

The creation of the Carter would not have been possible without Ruth’s devotion and vision. Under her leadership, the Museum’s historic building was constructed by architect Philip Johnson and the Carter’s collection flourished to include the best examples of American art. Ruth established a board of trustees made up of luminaries in the museum world who helped guide the Carter in its first decade of operation, and she appointed the first director, Mitchell A. Wilder, to expand acquisitions beyond her father’s original collection of western art. In addition, Ruth collected contemporary art for her time and recognized the pioneering visions of artists such as Stuart Davis, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Ruth also understood the value of arts access and education, laying the foundation for the Museum’s educational initiatives and fulfilling her father’s wishes ensuring free access to the Museum for all.

Ruth Carter Stevenson in Fort Worth and Beyond

Ruth was active in many civic, philanthropic, and botanical pursuits in her community and beyond. In Fort Worth, she spearheaded artistic development in the city and expanded the Cultural District to become a hub of internationally renowned art centers. Beyond Fort Worth, Ruth served on the Board of Regents of the University of Texas and played a key role in the full desegregation of the university. In addition, she championed the arts on a national scale through board positions with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Trust for Historic Places, and the American Federation of Arts and served as the first woman appointed to the board as well as the first chairperson of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The Carter will also be celebrating the life and legacy of Ruth on Thursday, December 14, 2023, during Second Thursdays at the Carter: Art & Advocacy. Second Thursdays is a free monthly event where visitors connect with art through cocktails, conversations, and creativity. This December, celebrate the legacy of Ruth Carter Stevenson and her monumental impact on the art world. The night’s activities include Carter Executive Director Andrew J. Walker, who will give a tour of the collection focused on artworks Ruth collected for the Museum and the opportunity to explore interesting artifacts from the archives connected to Ruth, guided by Head Archivist Jon Frembling.

To learn more about Ruth’s monumental life and legacy, visit the Carter website at cartermuseum.org/RCS100. Here, you can stay up to date on the latest events the Carter has planned to celebrate Ruth’s 100th birthday.

About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) is a dynamic cultural resource that provides unique access and insight into the history and future of American creativity through its expansive exhibitions and programming. The Carter’s preeminent collection includes masterworks by legendary American artists such as Ruth Asawa, Alexander Calder, Frederic Church, Stuart Davis, Robert Duncanson, Thomas Eakins, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, and John Singer Sargent, as well as one of the country’s foremost repositories of American photography. In addition to its innovative exhibition program and engagement with artists working today, the Museum’s premier primary research collection and leading conservation program make it a must-see destination for art lovers and scholars of all ages nationwide. Admission is always free. To learn more about the Carter, visit cartermuseum.org.

Images: (Left) Ruth Carter Stevenson exploring the galleries at the Carter in 1963; (Middle) Ruth Carter Stevenson in 2006; (Right) Ruth Carter Stevenson in front of the Carter in 1965