Early life and education
Ruth Adams was born in 1883 and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, where her father taught at Yale. She graduated from Vassar College in 1904, but did not intend to study architecture.
In 1910, Adams enrolled in the New York School of Applied Design for Women interior design program. Five years later, after receiving numerous commissions from Vassar to remodel campus buildings, she opened her own interior design firm in New York.