Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson

Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson
Born Theo Alice Ruggles
Brookline, Massachusetts
Died October 29, 1932(1932-10-29)
Nationality American
Known for Sculpture

Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson (1871 – October 29, 1932), also known as Tho. A. R. Kitson and Theo Alice Ruggles, was an American sculptor.


Kitson was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. As a young child she displayed artistic talent, but when her mother attempted to enroll her in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, she was informed that she was too young to be admitted. Her mother then approached other schools, which gave her the same advice. One of the school directors, however, suggested that she find a tutor for her and pointed her in the direction of a rising star, Henry Hudson Kitson.

She began studying with sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson in 1886, and married him in Boston in 1893 in the social event of the season.

In 1895 she was the first woman to be admitted to the National Sculpture Society. In 1888, she won honorable mention at the Salon des Artistes Francais, (the youngest woman ever to receive the honor). She was lionized when she returned to the United States for this award and was asked to comment on everything from the state of American art to men's fashions.

After the Kitsons separated in 1909, she moved to Farmington, where she maintained a studio until her 1932 death in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work is featured on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail.[1]

The Hiker by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson

In the course of her career she created many public monuments, both in conjunction with her husband and on her own. Her best known statue is The Hiker, a monument commemorating the soldiers who fought in the wars of the United States' turn of the 20th Century Manifest Destiny territorial expansion, the Spanish–American War, the Philippine–American War and the Boxer Rebellion. Around 50 versions of this work can be discovered spread over much of the United States.

World's Fairs

Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. She was one of four female painters or sculptors who exhibited more than three works of art, including: A New England Fisherman (1892); On the Banks of the Oise (1889); Portrait Bust of an Italian Child (ca. 1887); and Young Orpheus (ca. 1890).[2]

Additionally, she won a bronze medal at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

Selected works


  1. "Back Bay East". Boston Women's Heritage Trail.
  2. National Museum of American Art; National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution) (1993). Revisiting the white city: American art at the 1893 World's Fair. Washington, D.C.: Hanover: National Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution ; Distributed by the University Press of New England. pp. [82, 376]. ISBN 0-937311-01-4.


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