A Dangerous Thing
ISBN: 978-0-342996-41-8 • $15.00 • 55 pp.
“Widely known as an important twentieth century American photographer, Ruth-Marion Baruch also turned her remarkable eye inward to explore through her poetry the depths of human suffering. Her poems, written for the most part in the 1950s and 60s, have remained unpublished until now. This collection, under the title poem, A Dangerous Thing, gives voice to this powerful, at times awesome, figure. Meanwhile what is to be done poetically? Ruth-Marion’s strategy is intense verbal condensation in which contrary feelings are simultaneously expressed and denied. Hers is an honest alternative to the easy sentimentality of half-truths. In view of the prevailing darkness of her visions, it is remarkable how life-affirming her clear and forthright declarations are.”
Photographer and poet Ruth-Marion Baruch was born in 1922 in Berlin, Germany. She is believed to have been the first woman in the US to receive a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography from Ohio University in 1946. She attended the first class at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, devoted to photography, where she also met her future husband, the photographer Pirkle Jones. Baruch’s photography has been exhibited around the US including The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Amon Carter Museum (Texas) and is represented in major institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, (Rochester), the Center for Creative Photography (Tucson), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), Polaroid Corporation, (Cambridge, MA) and the Oakland Museum. (Oakland, CA) A book of her photographs, Black Panthers 1968 in collaboration with Pirkle Jones, with an essay by Kathleen Cleaver was published by Greybull Press in 2002.