The College Center Art Gallery exhibited photographs by Ruth Gilbert, whose career came about late in life. The wife of an international banker and economist living in Paris and Basel, Switzerland, she bought her first camera in an airport in Asia in 1972 at the age of 62 and confided in an interview several years before her death at 97 in 2007 that the first three rolls of film she exposed came out black because she didn’t understand how to load the camera.
Living principally in California after the death of her husband, she showed her work there and in the New York galleries. Some of her work also appeared in the international photography magazine Zoom. Several photographs from a series on the butchers of the Rue de Seine are in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Los Angeles Times art critic David Pagel noted that “Gilbert’s butchers have the presence of angels. They seem to inhabit a weightless and timeless world in which every one of their movements is guided by a power greater than their own.” Jon Thurber, “Ruth Gilbert, 97; later bloomer with a camera, host to glitterati in Paris,” The Los Angeles Times