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Published on : Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Goldfinch Tavern welcomes a new piece of art, Goldfinch & Mt. Rainier specially created by John A. Ruthven, WWII Veteran, naturalist, author, lecturer and internationally acclaimed master of wildlife art.
The commissioned acrylic painting is displayed as the centrepiece in the downtown Ethan Stowell Restaurant and draws guests to the stunning yellow and black colouring of the restaurant’s namesake, the American goldfinch, the state bird of Washington.
“When I was asked to create this painting for Goldfinch Tavern I became very excited to portray it near one of the world’s great natural wonders, Mt. Rainier,” said John Ruthven. “It was really a contrast in development. Here I am portraying one of the world’s smallest birds next to one of the largest mountains in existence. The painting was not only a challenge from the standpoint of perspective and focal point, but it took a great deal of engineering to guide the viewer’s eye to the focal point of the painting of the nesting goldfinch.”
“The artwork adds to the ambiance and décor of the restaurant, as well as compliments the sweeping views of Elliott Bay,” said Ilse Harley, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. “We’re excited to welcome Goldfinch & Mt. Rainier as it joins works by Pacific Northwest artists, Guy Anderson’s Northwest Totem with Waterfall; Alden Mason’s Red Surprise; and Margaret Tomkins’s Untitled.”
A native Cincinnatian, Ruthven returned home after naval service during WWII to attend The Cincinnati Art Academy. A few highlights of his accomplishments include winning the 1960-61 Federal Duck Stamp competition that launched his wildlife art career, 1st Artist of the Year print for Duck’s Unlimited, American Bald Eagles for 3 US Presidents, Eagle to the Moon for Neil Armstrong Aerospace Museum, Cincinnati Bell, The Fine Arts Fund and Colonial Williamsburg.
Ruthven was presented the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush at the White House. He was the first wildlife artist to receive this award. Part of the citation read: “for his impeccably accurate and unfailingly beautiful wildlife art, and in recognition of his contributions as an artist and naturalist in conserving our natural treasures.”