In Their Own Words: Ruthie Tredwell



Everyone has a story to tell. Give them a chance and a little time and you’ll often get more than one.

Photographer David Mendelsohn always takes his time with subjects and therefore usually learns a thing or two in the process.


Ruthie Tredwell’s life has always revolved around the arts: dealer, consultant, curator and the original founder of the Portsmouth Museum of Art. As an undergrad at Parsons School of Design she landed a plum internship at Andy Warhol’s Factory, the one on Union Square, from ’81 through ’86.

Her transformation here to a Warhol-esque icon was engineered by the photographer with styling by Loretta Tower.

The parade of celebrity was eternal. I would keep company with the likes of Jagger, Bowie, Grace Jones, Madonna and Blondie. The list is too long.

The excesses of the ’80s fueled The Factory. I was often sent out to gather bags of grilled cheese sandwiches, only returning to a locked door and loud music beyond. I‘d sit on the curb, eat one or two with a bottle of cheap wine and wander home. Then again, I was allowed in to the Studio 54 parties, where I cultivated the art of stealing drinks while people were on the dance floor.

There are so many vivid stories. Daily, Andy was either normal or eccentric. He was in love with Jamie Wyeth. Andy enjoyed collecting taxidermy. Once beyond the metal door, you were greeted by a stuffed Great Dane called Cecil.

A barefoot Diana Ross once told me that I had ugly shoes.

Andy rarely produced his own silk screens and often didn’t sign them. Many of his collected pieces could likely have been crafted by me.

I learned a lot during my time there — it’s like a silk-screened bookmark in the pages of my life. It also made me quite popular at school. I am grateful for the memories.

Tredwell now runs a Hampton company that uses an innovative technology for the treatment of cancer. She says that she thinks art and science are closely related disciplines. Along with her memories, she has some memorabilia from her Factory days — like this October 1981 copy of Warhol’s Interview magazine that he signed for her (right).

(Wendy Mendelsohn, Karrah Kwasnik and Justin Cross assisted in capturing these shots.)

 

 

More people you should know about

Hall Decker

Catching up with The Christmas Dove CEO and manager Garth Svenson.

Movie Star

Meet Barry Steelman of Concord’s Red River Theatres, this year's winner of the NH Film Festival's Van McLeod Award.

Shear Zen

Catching up with hair stylist Steven Dillon as he discusses trading in his A-list client sheet for peace and quiet in southern New Hampshire.

Cart and Soul

Catching up with Puppy Love Hot Dogs owner Gretchen Peters as the iconic Concord cart celebrates 40 years in downtown Concord.

Free Form

Meet teacher, artist, dancer, volunteer and patron Amanda Whitworth.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. The Power of Power
    Healthcare, Trump and the economy are all lower on NH’s wish list.
  2. 2018's Best New Restaurants
    Over the last year, Food Editor Susan Laughlin traveled the state, searching for notable new...
  3. 2018 It List
    If you wanted to host the ultimate cocktail party, these are the people you’d want to invite....
  4. Prepared for Anything
    As the global future grows more unpredictable, some people are staking out their own worlds and...
  5. 16 New Granite State Breweries
    Get ready to experience the thrill of discovery. From the top of the state to the coast, here are...
  6. How Food Can Affect Your Mood
    What you do (and don’t) eat can affect your stress level and more.
  7. Brewing Beer is a Labor of Love
    The co-founder of Lithermans Limited made his passion a full-time job.
  8. Welcome to Keene's Cuisine Scene
    The city with the widest Main Street is filling up with great flavors
Edit ModuleShow Tags