After serving in World War II, he entered the Cincinnati Art Academy. He opened a commercial art studio in 1946 with the goal of building a career in wildlife art. In 1960 he entered the Federal Duck Stamp competition and won with his Redhead Ducks.
In 1971 Ruthven founded Wildlife Internationale`, Inc. to publish and distribute his limited edition prints. Ruthven was recognized as Duck`s Unlimited First Artist of the Year, First Ohio Duck Stamp Artists, and First Ohio Animal Stamp/Print Artist.
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