The Stone City Art Colony and School 1932-33

Ruth Eby Stinson (1909-1993) - faculty

Born and raised in the small town of Hartington, Nebraska, Ruth Eby attended Hastings College (Hastings, NE) for a single year before enrolling at the Teacher's College, University of Nebraska. Eby completed her Art Education degree (BFA) in 1932 and that summer, attended the Stone City Art Colony. On weekdays, Ruth supervised fifteen Cedar Rapids children who came for morning art classes and picnic lunches; she also led Sunday classes for children. Eby studied watercolors and oil painting as a colony student. She lived on the third floor of the Green Mansion and was Pauline Phelps Trask's roommate. While at the colony, she met her future husband, Harry Stinson, an associate professor of art (specializing in sculpture) at the University of Iowa who was one of the first students in the United States to receive an M.F.A. degree (1940).

Following her time in the colony, Eby attended the University of Iowa, completing a Masters degree in psychology and child welfare in 1934. Simultaneously, her husband served as the Director of Sculpture for Iowa’s WPA division under Grant Wood. Ruth received a Carnegie Research Assistantship in art psychology (1932-34) while a graduate student. The Stinsons remained at the university until 1941 when Harry accepted an art faculty position at Hunter College, SUNY. After retiring as a full professor in 1966, the Stinsons remained in New York and then moved to San Diego, California in 1968.

In New York, Ruth worked as an occupational therapist for St. Mary’s Hospital for Convalescent Children from 1942-1948. She continued her art education and studied with Dong Kingman.Working in watercolors, acrylics, and oils, she never exhibited professionally, choosing to pursue painting for its own enjoyment. In her spare time, she was an avid seamstress and helped her husband build a stone cottage for family vacations. In California, Ruth was a member of the San Diego Archaelogical Society and participated in numerous digs. She died in San Diego in 1993.