Rutherford Witthus has worked with books for most of his life, starting in high school as a page in the Denver Public Library, where he was introduced to the world of rare books and fine editions by curator Harry Mooney. His subsequent interest in ancient philosophy led him to the University of Denver, where he received a BA and an MA in Philosophy. He taught there as an instructor during the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. An additional degree in Librarianship and Information Management allowed him entry into the professional library world, where he specialized in archives and manuscripts. After working for a number of years in the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library and the University of Colorado at Denver, he finished his career at the University of Connecticut's Thomas J. Dodd Research Center as Curator of Literary and Natural History Collections, working extensively with the Charles Olson Papers and other writers connected to Black Mountain College.
As a retirement gift to himself, he enrolled in the Book Arts and Printmaking MFA program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His interest in book structures was ignited in classes taught by Hedi Kyle, with whom he independently studied the design of Asian books. Combining his interest in ancient languages and book structures, he is currently working on a series of books of literary and historical fragments. Over the course of the last decades, Rutherford Witthus has pursued traditional and alternative photography. His images are used primarily in his own book structures, although a few hang in various private collections.
2010 "Catalogue raisonné" for Counting on Chance: 25 Years of Artists' Books by Robin Price, Publisher. Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
1994 Bookbinding in Colorado: Creating Practical Art Through Hand and Machine 1980-1980.
Friends of Auraria Library, Denver, Colorado.
1986 Blickensderfer: Images of the West. Cordillera Press, Evergreen, Colorado.
1986 "The Artist and the Architects: Laura Gilpin Photographs Fisher and Fisher Buildings of 1920s
Denver" Colorado Heritage 4 (1986).
1983 The Fisher Architectural Records Collection, 1897-1978: An Inventory. Denver Public Library,
2006 The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. MFA in Book Arts & Printmaking.
1981 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. MA Librarianship and Information Management.
1968 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. MA in Philosophy.
1965 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. BA in Philosophy.