New Website Documents Work of Ruth Hines Temple

Ruth Hines Temple

Ruth Hines Temple

The life and career of Ruth Hines Temple, long-time Head of the Art Department at Western Kentucky University, is documented in a new website created and maintained by the Kentucky Library & Museum.  Born in Warren County in 1899, Temple lived to be 101.  At an early age, she exhibited a penchant for art.  After graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, she taught for one year at Leitchfield, Kentucky.  Afterwards, she worked in her father’s store, the Busy Bee at 136 Main Street in Bowling Green, and did freelance graphic work. 

After her father died in 1929, Temple and her mother operated the family store for five years prior to selling it as the Great Depression deepened.  With money from the sale, Ruth completed her Master’s degree at Peabody College in Nashville.  She also spent a summer at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and traveled throughout the American South on a fellowship from Peabody.

In 1942, Temple accepted a position as art supervisor for the Western Kentucky State Teachers College training school.  In 1946, she was promoted to head of the college’s art department and retained that position until her retirement in 1966.  In 1999, Temple began donating her personal papers and artifacts to the Kentucky Library & Museum.  The website features fifty of her cartoons, numerous novelty items and small art-on-paper pieces created by Temple, and photographs of the Temple family.  The majority of these pieces are housed in the Temple Family Papers; a finding aid for this collection can also be accessed via the website.  To view the website click here.




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