It’s been a full year’s business for Southport Galleries, a formidable and robust gallery that painted over the Village Hardware store and created a beautiful space for art.
On Friday, Dec. 3, they have a opening reception for their holiday-themed exhibit. It’s something that’s special for a couple of reasons. Philip Eliasoph, a professor of art history at Fairfield University and co-founder of the gallery, says that the “Gifts that Endure” exhibit will mark the first public appearance of Ruth Ray’s Nativity paintings — influenced by historic barns that are unfortunately seen less and less in Connecticut — since her death in 1977. Her style has been called “Magic Realism” or “Romantic Realism.”
From their press release:
Gathered together for the first time, presenting an exhibition of the “Nativity” paintings of an American Master, Ruth Ray, N.A., (1919 -1977). Working and living in Darien, She used the techniques of Old Master landscape painting to create nativity scenes in local Connecticut settings.
Apart from the shows and the awards for her work, these were personal paintings. She said, “To decorate one’s home for Christmas, one puts up a tree, makes a wreath, prepares a turkey dinner – but to me Christmas is so much more… For [my family] I painted the nativity.”