Joan and Reynold Ruffins, c. 1982 Courtesy the Children of Joan & Reynold Ruffins

Organized in conjunction with The Power of Two, this exhibition presents a unique story of love, creativity, and art.

Reynold Dash Ruffins (1930-2021) and Joan B. Young Ruffins (1932-2013) shared 60 years of marriage, living in St. Albans (Queens) and eventually settling year-round in Sag Harbor in 1992, some 30 years after they began summering in the historically-important Black community of Nineveh Beach. Painting Partnership features close to 25 paintings and sculptures from this outstanding artistic duo.

Reynold began making his mark in graphic and advertising design in the 1950s and the 1960s, later working on such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, and Essence, and creating award-winning illustrations for children’s books. Meanwhile, as Joan raised the couple’s four children, she created a studio in the family’s St. Albans home, creating art and teaching both children and adults.
In the 1990s, Reynold and Joan bought a nineteenth-century house on Hampton Street, Sag Harbor. Each found their creative output flourish in this new environment. Reynold began easel painting in Acrylics and taking up abstract and Cubist work. Meanwhile, inspired by the work of Cézanne and other Impressionist painters, Joan painted deftly organized domestic interiors and dramatically-colored landscapes.


Reynold Ruffins (1930-2021)
Lighthouse, n.d.
Acrylic on canvas
Courtesy of Ben and Deborah Ruffins


Exhibition funding was provided, in part, by:

The NYCB Foundation
New York State Council on the Arts
Robert W. Baird Incorporated
The Carol & Arnold Wolowitz Foundation