Ruth Everard-Haden

(1902 – 1992)

Ruth Everard-Haden was born in 1904 at Nottingham Road in KwaZulu-Natal, as the first daughter of the artist Bertha Everard. Born into a remarkably creative family of women painters, Ruth’s mother, Bertha along with her sister Edith King became known as the Everard Group whilst living in Mpumalanga (what was formerly Eastern Transvaal) during the first half of the 20th Century.

In 1919, Ruth was attending Eunice School in Bloemfontein, of which her aunt, Edith, was the Headmistress. This was followed by her attending the Cape Town School of Art part-time between 1921 and 1922, but was merely a stepping stone to her enrolling in the Slade School of Art in London, where she would study for two years under Henry Tonks. Ruth found the format of the education in England as conservative and restrictive and this led her to move to Paris in 1923, where she remained until 1926. Before returning to South Africa in 1928, she travelled, learned and exhibited with the Everard-Group through various European studios.

Upon her return to South Africa, Ruth met Denholm Haden, whom she married in 1929. The couple settled on a farm near the Everard-family home, Bonnefoi, where they bred race horses. She continued to paint and to exhibit regularly with the Everard-Group until the Fifties, at which stage the family began to withdraw from the public view. To add to this, failing eye-sight, meant that Ruth could no longer paint by 1956.

Prior to 1923, Ruth work predominantly in watercolour, she also produced a number of linocuts during 1925, but ultimately she was most comfortable working in oil. Through her chosen media she produced mainly landscapes, as well as still life and portraits. Her years spent on Europe and especially the new movements she experienced, such as Cubism, Vorticism and Futurism greatly influenced her work.

Her confidence in using simple outlines to convey shape and format, along with her consciousness of medium are what distinguish Ruth from the other members of the Everard-Group. Although being born into a family of successful artists gave her a head start in the development of her career, Ruth Everard Haden did not ride the coattails of her family to establish herself. Throughout her career, she established herself as a leading artist, not only within the confines of the Everard-Group, but as an independent artist.

1921 – 1922

Part-time at the Cape Town School of Art

1922 – 1923

Studied drawing at the Slade School of Art, London

1923 – 1927

Académie Colarossi, Paris

At various other academies in the Rue de la Grande Chaumière and briefly in the art of linocuts, in Salisbury, England

1924

Autumn Salon, Paris

1926

Salon des Independents, Paris

1928

Exhibited with the Everard-Group

South African Academy Exhibition, Johannesburg

1931

First exhibition of the Everard Group, Herbert Evans Gallery, Johannesburg

1935

Exhibition of the Everard Group, University of Pretoria

1936

Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg

1948

Overseas Exhibition of South African Art, Tate Gallery et al

1952

van Riebeek Tercent Exhibition, Cape Town

1956

First Quadrennial Exhibition of South African Art

1967

The Everard-Group, Prestige Retrospective Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum; Adler Fielding Gallery, Johannesburg; Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

Public Collections

  • IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery
  • Pretoria Art Museum
  • South Africa House, London
  • Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
  • William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley
  • Rand Mines, Johannesburg

1932

Supper at Emmaus, Church of the Resurrection, Carolina, Eastern Transvaal

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