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Ruth E. Gutfrucht design collection

 Collection — Box: 1, Folder: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0020

Scope and Contents

The Ruth E. Gutfrucht collection contains pieces of design work created by Gutfrucht and her students. These materials include university publications, brochures, clippings of advertisements, and exhibition announcements. There are also lists of student productions and special projects. Most of these items are from 1952-1953.

Also in the collection are 20 black and white photographs of Gutfrucht's calligraphic works. The photographed pieces range from invitations to awards to illuminated texts.

The collection also contains a brief biography of Gutfrucht written in the RIT Reporter, a clipping of her obituary from the Democrat & Chronicle, and an invitation to Gutfrucht's RIT retirement party in 1981.


  • Creation: 1940-1974


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Ruth E. Gutfrucht (1918-1993) was born on May 24, 1918 in Rochester, NY. After graduating from John Marshall High School, Gutfrucht studied design at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI), now the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She received her A.A.S. in 1939 and later earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. Prior to joining the faculty at RIT, Gutfrucht worked as a wallpaper, wrapping paper, and fancy box designer. She also worked as a designer at the Todd Company of the Burroughs Corporation, creating checks, letterhead, and advertising materials.

Gutfrucht was a member of Nazareth College's faculty for a year before starting as a part-time faculty member at RAMI in 1941. She joined RIT's faculty full-time in 1947, where she taught perspective, lettering, layout, typography, and advertising in the design department. During her tenure, Gutfrucht was involved in the RIT community, serving as secretary of the Alumni Council, treasurer of the American Association of University Professors (RIT chapter), art advisor for Techmila (RIT's yearbook), and on the senior projects committee. She also designed various publications for RIT such as institutional catalogs and pamphlets for different on-campus organizations. In 1977, Gutfrucht was awarded the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching in recognition of her efforts in the classroom. She retired from the university in 1981.

During her lifetime, Gutfrucht studied with textile designer Ruth Reeves, Bauhaus designer Josef Albers, and artist Umberto Romano. She was a respected calligrapher and often accepted freelance jobs creating calligraphic works and illuminating manuscripts. Interested in other areas of art, such as painting and printmaking, Gutfrucht was also a member of the University of Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Art Club, and the Print Club of Rochester. She died on November 28, 1993.


0.8 Linear Feet (1 clamshell box, 1 oversize folder)




Ruth E. Gutfrucht was a professor of design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) from 1947-1981. The collection contains copy prints of Gutfrucht's calligraphy and publications with design work by Gutfrucht. Also included are various design projects created by her students. Ruth E. Gutfrucht was a professor of Design atRochester Institute of Technologyfrom 1947-1981. She taught Lettering, Layout, Typography, and Advertising Design. Gutfrucht was incredibly involved in the RIT community, serving as secretary of the Alumni Council, treasurer of the American Association of University Professors (RIT chapter), art advisor for Techmila, the Reporter, and the Art Student’s League. She also designed various publications forRIT including institutional catalogs, advertisements, andpamphlets for different on-campus organizations and events.


The newspaper clippings and retirement party invitation are at the front of the collection, followed by the images of Gutfrucht's calligraphic works. Five of the photographs of Gutfrucht's works are housed in a separate oversize folder.

Physical Location

C.S. South, Shelf 227

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Ruth E. Gutfrucht design collection

Related Materials

RIT Reporter: 02 May 1955; 09 March 1962

RIT Scrapbook: 01 January 1950 (source: 3x5 card file)

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2010.

Ruth E. Gutfrucht design collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
12 November 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA