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Ruth Robinson (1916-2013)

Article  /  Artists
Published: 05.02.2014
Ruth Robinson (1916-2013).
Author:
Bruce Robinson
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona

Intro
Ruth had a strong, warm, outgoing personality, feisty and often dismissive of authority. An elegant dresser, she could be seen wearing leather trousers in her eighties, remaining young at heart by drawing on much younger friends for whom she sometimes acted as an advisor. She remained active until her last few years when she suffered from dementia and restricted mobility.
My mother, Ruth Robinson, who has died aged 97, began a successful second career as a contemporary jeweler while in her fifties, studying at Camden Institute and Sir John Cass School of Art. Her work could be seen at major London galleries and arts fairs and she exhibited as far afield as Nicosia and Barcelona. She developed a technique for knitting silver wire with beads to produce unique pieces, both light and durable and made other innovations from which jewelers learnt. She drew on trips to Mexico, China, Poland. India and South Africa for materials and inspiration.

On her 90th birthday, friends organized a double-headed retrospective exhibition in London and Berlin. She chose the title 'Full Circle' for it to reflect the fact that she had been born into a Jewish family in rural central Germany. In 1934 she had a lucky opportunity to leave Germany, joining a group leaving for Palestine to work on a collective settlement. Then, in 1937, she moved to Vienna to train as a Montessori kindergarten teacher, escaping again on the night German troops marched into Austria. Returning to Palestine, she worked with children and met my father Robbie, a major in the British Army. They married in 1947 and she came with him to England where she initially worked in nurseries in London.

Ruth had a strong, warm, outgoing personality, feisty and often dismissive of authority. An elegant dresser, she could be seen wearing leather trousers in her eighties, remaining young at heart by drawing on much younger friends for whom she sometimes acted as an advisor. She remained active until her last few years when she suffered from dementia and restricted mobility .

A final closing of the circle of her life took place when, on the day she died, “stumbling stones” were laid outside her childhood family home in Herleshausen to commemorate the other members of her family who had not left Germany and had been killed after deportation in 1941. Flowers were also laid there to mark her passing as one of a handful of survivors of the pre-war Jewish community.

She is survived by Robbie and me.
- Bruce Robinson
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