Biography

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen was born in Manhattan in 1943. Shortly after, her family moved west and Ruth spent her childhood living in the Berkeley Hills. The summers were spent on the family’s lemon ranch outside of Santa Barbara. When she was 13, the family moved to Lake Forest, Illinois, outside of Chicago. Both her maternal grandmother and her mother were accomplished photographers. Initially trained as a painter and printmaker, she began exploring photography at Southern Illinois University and formally studied the medium at Chicago’s Columbia College, subsequently serving on its faculty. After she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she went on to become assistant and associate professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. A recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowships, Thorne-Thomsen was also accorded a residency at France’s La Napoule Art Foundation. Her work is included in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. She still lives and works in the house that she and her late husband, Ray K. Metzker, built together in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.