Statement by Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard About the Passing of John Ruthven

Posted October 12, 2020

Like everybody, I am sad about the passing of John Ruthven. Of course, he was a beloved artist to all that knew his work and a dear friend to everyone who knew him. His involvement with the Cincinnati Zoo goes back more than 50 years. In 1973 he led the campaign to save the original pavilion at the zoo where Martha the passenger pigeon lived. Through the sale of prints of the male passenger pigeon that hangs in the center shelves in our administration boardroom, John raised all the funds necessary to create the Zoo’s Passenger Pigeon Memorial as a tribute to Martha. The Cincinnati Zoo is honored to have the original of his 2014 painting “Martha, the last passenger pigeon,” hanging in our board room. That is the big painting that was copied to make the beautiful mural on Vine Street near the library. John Ruthven was the best fly fisherman and bird hunter I ever knew. – Thane Maynard