In 1996, Sarah Spencer published the book Gift of the Commonplace in celebration of Ruth’s 90th birthday in conjunction with the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel. Ruth had an amazing gift to transform prosaic subjects into images of unforgettable beauty that inspire and reveal a sense of reverence for the subjects. Whether Ruth was photographing Lifesavers, drinking straws, a teapot which had been run over in the street, shells, a simple rag hanging in the sun, or the doorknob of her bedroom, she somehow could see beneath the surface of the subject to discover and reveal the timeless beauty within. As Ruth said about her many decades in photography, “I cannot imagine a more precious gift than the discovery that I was destined to become a photographer. It all happened so effortlessly, without a stone in the road…my work became my life.”.
Along with Ruth’s wonderful images, there is an insightful and touching essay by Ruth’s long-time friend and past photographic assistant Michael Kenna. The photographs span a period of thirty-four years and include some never before published images and unique prints.
Please note that this book is NOT signed by Ruth.
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