After moving to Wichita, Kansas in 1965, with the Ruthven’s practice expanding over the following years, they were able to afford better quality art. With increasing knowledge of artists and the art market, they found and acquired more pieces by major American artists at regional auctions. Les and Courtney transitioned from just purchasing student art to purchasing the art of nationally known artists. This was first done for their private collection but they soon discovered they had more art than could be displayed. For many years they could not focus much time on art while practicing their profession, but they were able to buy from and sell to private parties in Kansas and art dealers around the USA.
Over the years they developed a fairly impressive art collection and finally realized that, if they wanted to continue buying quality art, they also needed to sell some of their collection. Therefore, in 1971, they became art dealers and Mid-America Fine Arts was begun.
The Ruthvens, now retired are focusing full time on their art collection. Courtney and Les do not favor the term “investment quality art” although many of their pieces can be so described. They prefer art as an emotional investment, something that adds to one’s enjoyment and quality of life.
Courtney L. Ruthven (Co-Owner)
Courtney Ruthven, Ph.D. was born Courtney Lewis and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee but traveled over the entire Southeast USA during her youth. These trips always included visits to Art Museums, which she enjoyed because of her mother’s influence. Her mother had been drawing and painting since she was fourteen years old. One of Courtney’s earliest life memories was sitting in a pink dress to model for her mother’s art class.
Courtney received her Doctor of Psychology degree from Oklahoma State University in 1974. Although she focused on her profession for many years, on Sunday afternoons Courtney, Les and their children would visit many Art Museums in Kansas and Oklahoma. She and her husband found that learning about art afforded them enjoyment and appreciation to share with their children and with each other.
During these years Courtney focused on her children, later she began to return to her interests in history and general information on the physical and biological sciences.
Les Ruthven (Co-Owner)
Leslie (“Les”) Ruthven, Ph.D. grew up in New York City and, as a child, was a frequent visitor to art museums with his father, an amateur painter. He graduated High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he was a competitive tennis player. He won the State of Florida High School singles tennis championship in 1951.
Les received his Doctor of Psychology degree from the University of Tennessee in 1963. He moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1965 to continue his professional career. In 1987, he founded a national behavioral health management firm Preferred Mental Health Management Inc. The company worked for large employers arranging care for employees and their family members in all 50 States. Les is co-author of a book Rehabilitation of the Brain Damaged Adult which is used as a rehabilitation textbook to this day. In 2005, he published a book entitled Antidepressants: Science, Magic or Marketing which was a review of the scientific literature on the drug treatment of clinical depression. It was during this extended period that Les became a private art collector and eventually founded Mid-America Fine Arts.
Les is a private, instrument rated, single engine airplane pilot with over 2,900 flight hours. He has volunteered on 27 Angel Flight missions taking non-emergency medical patients to and from hospitals for treatment.
They invite you to join them in your search for art works that speak to you and give you great pleasure.
Gregory Moore (Art Director / Sales Consultant)
Greg graduated from the University of Houston in 1979 with a BBA degree in Marketing. He was hired by Beechcraft in 1981 in Selma, Alabama as a manufacturing analyst. After 5 years he was relocated to their corporate headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. Greg continued working for Beechcraft for the next 25 years as a Financial Analyst supporting Operations. Greg retired from Textron Aviation (Beech and Cessna) in 2016. Greg joined Mid-America Fine Arts in January 2017. Greg is new to the art gallery business but he has always had a love of art, especially by 20th Century artists.