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Guide to the Verena Ruegg Collection MS.P.007
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Historical Background
  • Bibliography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Note

  • Title: Verena Ruegg collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.P.007
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 83.0 Linear feet (140 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1925-1972
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1972
    Language of Collection Materials: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: This collection comprises the drawings and sketches of Verena Ruegg, a painter, etcher, lithographer, printmaker, and craftsperson from Hollywood, California. Also included are works selected for exhibition or for sale. Forms of materials include sketches, paintings, lithographs, etchings, programs, photographs, correspondence, and clippings.
    Creator: Ruegg, Verena


    The collection is open for research. Access to fragile photographic originals is restricted. Digital copies may be requested.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Verena Ruegg Collection. MS-P007. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Nettie Tilton, 1975.

    Processing History

    Processed by Christine Kim, Zoe MacLeod, and Alix Norton with assistance from Audra Eagle Yun, 2012-2013.

    Historical Background

    Verena Ruegg was a California artist who sketched ballet performances of dance companies touring Los Angeles venues. She was born in San Francisco, California on April 30, 1895 and resided in Hollywood.
    Ruegg attended Chouinard Art Institute, now known as the California Institute of the Arts, as well as Otis Art Institute, both located in Southern California. While attending Otis Art Institute, Ruegg participated in a poster contest for the California Botanic Garden in March 1928. Her poster received an honorable mention.
    In April 1929, Ruegg participated in the first nonjury art exhibit held at the Architects Building located in Los Angeles. Her piece, shown in the print and watercolor department, was titled “Aurora Borealis”. Ruegg was also part of the 22nd Annual Exhibition with the California Art Club, in 1932. Her piece, called "Native Life,” was displayed throughout November and December at the Los Angeles Museum at Exposition Park. A number of Ruegg’s lithographs and etchings were also exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum in June 1932.
    Ruegg competed for the United States in the 1932 Summer Olympics. She participated in multiple “Mixed Painting” events in the Art Competitions. Four works were submitted, titled “Figures I”, “Figures II”, “The Race”, and “Athletes”. Later that summer in August, Ruegg joined Myra Kinch’s Olympic ballet group as one of eighteen dancers performing at the Greek Theater. In 1932, Ruegg also exhibited work at the Corcoran Gallery biennial and the California State Fair, where she received an award. Ruegg also exhibited and received prizes at the Los Angeles County Fair in 1934, 1935, and 1936.
    In 1939, a fire starting on the roof of Ruegg’s home destroyed the house, but her husband, Fred Robinson, an actor’s agent, saved many of her paintings. Ruegg’s husband was killed by a car the following year while walking the family dog, an event that captured the attention of local media.
    In addition to attending and sketching many ballet performances, Ruegg also visited dance classes, including those taught by Irina Nijinska, Ernest Belcher, Dorothy Lyndall, Micho Ito, and Muriel Stuart.
    Ruegg is known for painting, etching, creating lithographs, and making prints. She was also a member of the California Art Club association. Ruegg died in 1973.


    "22nd Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition." California Art Club. Accessed May 1, 2012. http://www.californiaartclub.org/22nd-annual-gold-medal-juried-exhibition/.
    "Brief Art Reviews." Los Angeles Times. June 12, 1932.
    Miller, Arthur. "Many Seek Expression: Nonjury Art Exhibit Shows Number of Angelenos Striving to Give Voice to Feelings." Los Angeles Times, April 7, 1929.
    "Myra Kinch to Appear in Concert: Dancer from Germany to Introduce Ballet Group on Supporting Program." Los Angeles Times. July 31, 1932.
    Olympics at Sports-Reference. "Verena Ruegg Biography and Olympic Results." Accessed May 1, 2012. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ru/verena-ruegg-1.html.
    "Pet Stands Guard Over Dead Master's Clothes." Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1940.
    "Storm Fans Many Blazes: Blind Girl Injured and Much Property Destroyed by Fires." Los Angeles Times. February 17, 1939.
    "Winners in Garden Poster Constest: Student at Otis Art Institute Awarded First Prize." Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1928.
    Who Was Who in American Art: 400 years of artists in America. Second edition. Three volumes. Edited by Peter Hastings Falk. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection comprises the drawings and sketches of Verena Ruegg, a painter, etcher, lithographer, printmaker, and craftsperson from Hollywood, California. Many major dance companies and notable individual dancers from around the world are portrayed. Materials were largely created and compiled while Ruegg attended ballet performances touring in Los Angeles, California. The sketches are largely done in pen, pencil, paint, or crayon. Also included are works selected for exhibition or for sale, many of which are framed on mat boards. The collection also includes Ruegg's correspondence with her associates in dance, and research materials collected by Ruegg, such as dance performance programs and clippings. Forms of materials include sketches, paintings, lithographs, etchings, programs, photographs, correspondence, and clippings.


    This collection is arranged in 4 series:
    • Series 1. Dance performance sketches, 1927-1970
    • Series 2. Works selected for exhibition by Ruegg, 1925-1960
    • Series 3. Correspondence, 1937-1972
    • Series 4. Research materials, 1913-1971

    Processing Note

    Several boxes from the collection were consolidated during processing. As a result, some box numbers do not appear in the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Ballet dancers in art
    Ballet dancers.
    Sketches -- 20th century.