Ruth Leighton Froeberg '34 of Des Moines, Iowa, immediately recognized herself in the picture featured last fall on the brochure for URI's Annual Fund appeal. In the following excerpts from two letters to the editor, she shares some of the memories that the sepia-toned photo of a summer art class brought back to her.
Recently I received your mailing--the flier with the picture of a group of artists painting in Kingston by the Library building. I'm the one sitting on the grass. It must have been in the 1930s; I took an art class at that time. My children here in Iowa want copies of the mailing. Could you send two or three copies? ...
A little more history. I grew up in Kingston. My father Dr. Virgil Leighton was head of the Chemistry Department from about 1900 to 1918. He had about 30 acres of land between the campus (water tower) and [Old] North Road. After his death, my husband, Ted ['34], ran the orchard. Then the big hurricane of 1937 ended our orchards--literally.
Ted got a job in Chicago, and the University bought our land in Kingston. I think there are two college buildings on that land now: an art building, and I'm not sure what the other is used for. I believe the art class in the picture was part of the summer school, and it was in the village near the public library, across the road from the Old Congregational Church--the hats and vintage clothes certainly do "date" us.
Lost Ted about two years ago and haven't been back to reunions for quite a few years. I recall my Dad took us as children to see silent movies in a college building on the north side of the campus on Saturday nights, and then we'd watch the students dance--it was a special treat. ...
Ruth Leighton Froeberg
P.S. I still paint--daughter Nancy and I go to DM Art Center