From 1960 until 1983 Rueben Kadish was faculty at the Cooper Union School of Art, where he taught art history and sculpture. Ashford studied with Kadish throughout his enrollment at Cooper Union: from attending all his Foundation-year Art History lectures through two years of independent study with Kadish in sculpture. Kadish was a tremendous influence on those who studied with him, presenting an insistence on self-directed research, careful consideration of the historical and mythological narratives that formal organization produces, and a deep emotional commitment to the necessity of artistic autonomy. His teaching appeared to come from diverse commitments: anarchistic ideals of independent and skeptical thinking; vivid experiences of the horrors of war and poverty,  and the capacity for artist built sanctuaries of love and affiliation to sustain invention. Even then, these very rare critiques of the more dominant teleological conceptions of human history and influence.  For Kadish, the artists was always outside of linear time, working by definition in an ahistorical, magical collaboration with humans not yet or no longer alive – and inherited intuitions outside of rational measurement. Kadish often spoke to the durable connection between beauty and justice, something he stated was rarely quantifiable in traditional education – but always available in the beholding of artworks.