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
Autumn Salon, Paris
Salon des Independents, Paris
Exhibited with the Everard-Group
South African Academy Exhibition, Johannesburg
First exhibition of the Everard Group, Herbert Evans Gallery, Johannesburg
Exhibition of the Everard Group, University of Pretoria
Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg
Overseas Exhibition of South African Art, Tate Gallery et al
van Riebeek Tercent Exhibition, Cape Town
First Quadrennial Exhibition of South African Art
The Everard-Group, Prestige Retrospective Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum; Adler Fielding Gallery, Johannesburg; Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
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
Supper at Emmaus, Church of the Resurrection, Carolina, Eastern Transvaal