Brandt, Ruth (1936–89), artist and teacher, was born 22 June 1936 in Dublin, eldest child of Frank Brandt, graphic designer, and the artist Muriel Brandt (qv) (née McKinley). She was educated at the Dominican convent, Santa Sabina, Sutton, Co. Dublin. After a brief period (c.1953) teaching English in a convent in the Rue de la Santé, Paris, she attended the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and was awarded a three-year scholarship. She subsequently spent a year in Florence, on an Italian government grant; there she met the Irish artist Michael Kane. They married (1961) and had a son and daughter. Having first exhibited at the RHA (1958) with a painting entitled ‘At the jazz band ball’, she went on to show with the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, submitting three works to its 1961 exhibition. Her career at this point was divided between teaching – both at the National College of Art on a part-time basis, and summer classes for children, which she gave with her husband – and freelance illustration and lettering. The most notable of her early illustrations include her work on Sheelah Kirby's The Yeats country (1962) and John Irvine's A treasury of Irish saints (1964). She also designed the devices for both the Dolmen Press and Poetry Ireland (1962–8), and was among those who contributed to the first and subsequent issues of the magazine Structure, founded by Kane (1972). At the NGI's W. B. Yeats (qv) centenary exhibition (1965) she contributed ten black-ink drawings of the poet's London homes.
In the early 1970s she began her collaboration with the architect Liam McCormick (qv), and was among those contemporary artists who contributed works to his churches of St Michael's, Creeslough (1970–71), and St Conal's, Glenties (1974–5), both in Co. Donegal. She subsequently designed the stained-glass window for the Oratory of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Artane, Co. Dublin (1979–82), and a linear sculpture for the new headquarters of the meterological office, Glasnevin (1979), both McCormick projects. She was also commissioned by the parish of St Brigid's, Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, to produce a plaque commemorating the priests of the parish.
In 1973 she returned to etching at the Graphic Studio, Dublin, and from then till her death took a keen interest in the running of its associated gallery. In the years that followed her career as an exhibitor burgeoned, with shows at the United Arts Club, Dublin (1975), and Kenny Gallery, Galway (1975), the Emmet Gallery (1976), and the Setanta Gallery, Dublin (1978). She also contributed to group exhibitions in Nottingham and the ‘Creative women’ exhibition, Belfast (1976). In that year she began to lecture full-time at the National College of Art and Design. In 1981 her work was represented at the ‘Five contemporary artists’ exhibition at Tara Galerie, Zurich. She held further one-woman shows at the Lincoln Gallery, Dublin (1982), and the James Gallery, Dalkey, Co. Dublin (1985); was represented at the Listowel graphics exhibition; and won prizes at the RHA (1986, 1989) for her graphics and watercolours respectively. A convert to Buddhism, she attended the Tibetan Samye Ling Buddhist retreat in Scotland (1979). Like her mother, she was an enthusiastic gardener, and drew much inspiration from nature. After separation from her husband she settled in Sherrard Ave., and in an attempt to escape urban Dublin spent lengthy periods in her cottage in Co. Wicklow. Ill-health forced her to retire from lecturing in 1988; she died at her home 13 August 1989.