Belcourt Castle presents A Tribute to Ruth Tinney

An exhibition of Paintings, early American tole trays and painted figurines by the late Ruth Emily Tinney (née Betzer) (1906-1995) to honor her 103rd birthday opens on July 15th 2009.
By: The Royal Arts Foundation
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Early American


Newport - Rhode Island - US

July 12, 2009 - PRLog -- A display of art work by the late Ruth Emily Tinney  (née Betzer) will be featured at Belcourt Castle from July 15th to July 31st  from 11 AM to 4 PM daily.  The exhibition of Mrs. Tinney's  art  is included in the tour of the castle on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island.  The works on display include tole trays, decorated furniture, painted figurines and tinsel pictures (reverse painting on glass). As part of the private family collection, these pieces have not been displayed in the fifty-three years that Belcourt Castle has been open to the public.

Born in Providence to Frank and Ethel Betzer on July 15, 1906, Ruth Emily Betzer married Harold Benjamin Tinney in Charlemont, Massachusetts on August 29, 1929. They had one son, Donald Harold Tinney, born in 1934 in Charlemont.

Ruth studied early American decoration and taught  from 1944 to 1955. The Tinneys restored a home in Lanesboro, Massachusetts and moved to Cumberland, Rhode Island in 1947. Their home, “Faraway Meadows”, was built in 1810 by Daniel and Ruth Wilkinson, partner of Samuel Slater of Slater Mill in Pawtucket, later the family seat of the Jim Angell Family on Angell Road.

The Tinneys moved to Newport, Rhode Island in 1955 and restored “Seaverge”, the Eldrige Gerry mansion on Bellevue Avenue. They purchased “Belcourt” in November of 1956 from Louis and Elaine Lorillard.  The 60-room Beaux-Arts mansion, designed in 1891 by Richard Morris Hunt for Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, would have been demolished before 1957, had the Tinneys not rescued the building.

Ruth Tinney’s legacy is important to the history of Belcourt Castle. The matriarch of a family who dedicated their lives to restoration of antiques and creation of stained glass, furniture and even a gold coronation coach, she was a strong influence on hundreds of people in her lifetime.She was active in Belcourt's restoration process while being the hostess for many civic events. She gave much time to charity work. At Belcourt Castle in 1958 Ruth Tinney planned the largest party ever given by the City of Newport up to that time with fifteen hundred guests of the Eisenhower press corps. She worked with the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and the State of Rhode Island Tourism Division in the nineteen fifties and sixties to promote a resurgence of tourism to “America’s First Resort”, including lobbying for the building of the Newport Bridge. She was active in many community and civic activities.

Ruth Tinney actively worked as hostess at Newport events. Belcourt was donated for public performances to opera star Emma Beldan, "Newport’s own Tunes and Talents", the "Belcourt Arts Festival",  The Newport Public Library, Newport Music Festival and Newport County Association of Retired Citizens from 1957 well into the 1980s.  

This display of her artwork is the first of its kind. With a new life soon to be seen at Belcourt Castle, Ruth Tinney’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Donald H. Tinney (née Harle Hanson) makes this tribute to her mother-in-law, who deserves recognition for her many contributions and achievements. Sierra Helm, an intern from Roger Williams University, and Alda Kaye, a long-time castle employee and preservation expert, have organized the display along with Mrs. Donald H. Tinney and the Belcourt staff.

The Exhibition, “A Tribute to Ruth Tinney”,  is open to the public at Belcourt Castle with the tour Daily from 11 am to 4 pm. For further information please call Belcourt Castle 401-846-0669.

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Belcourt Castle is a historic mansion museum in Newport, Rhode Island which features regularly scheduled guided tours, ghost tours, champagne candlelight tours, afternoon tea, fairytale weddings and creative theme events.
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Tags:Early American, Decoration, Newport, Mansion, Castle, Belcourt, Tinney, Painting, Exhibition
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Location:Newport - Rhode Island - United States
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