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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
De Diego, Julio  Search this
Armin, Emil  Search this
Huppler, Dudley  Search this
Evans, B.  Search this
Armour, Richard Willard  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl  Search this
Purdy, Carl  Search this
Algren, Nelson  Search this
Wilde, John  Search this
Terkel, Studs  Search this
Rorem, Ned  Search this
Priebe, Karl J.  Search this
Warren, Paul  Search this
Karidis, Jerome  Search this
Rollins, Sonny  Search this
Purdy, James  Search this
Wilcox, Wendell  Search this
Wilder, Thornton  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Diaries  Search this
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5608
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208442
AAA_collcode_abergert
Theme:
Women
Diaries
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208442
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ellen Lanyon

Interviewee:
Lanyon, Ellen  Search this
Interviewer:
Crawford, James, 1944-  Search this
Names:
Ox-Bow Summer School of Painting  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Berdich, Vera, 1915-2003  Search this
Blackshear, Kathleen, 1897-1988  Search this
Buehr, George Frederick, 1905-1983  Search this
Carleback, Julius  Search this
Ginzel, Roland, 1921-  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Hoff, Margo  Search this
Lasansky, Mauricio, 1914-  Search this
Rupprecht, Edgar A.  Search this
Schniewind, Carl Oscar, 1900-1957  Search this
Watson, Dudley Crafts, 1885-  Search this
Extent:
5 Sound tapes (5 in.)
214 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tapes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 Dec. 5
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Ellen Lanyon conducted by James Crawford for the Archives of American Art.
Lanyon speaks of family background; interests in art and music and collecting objects and antiques; her early art education; remembrances of 1933 Chicago World's Fair; Art Institute; Oxbow Summer School of Painting; her work and techniques; exhibitions; Institute of Design; marriage and move to University of Iowa; Iowa art department, Iowa print group; Fulbright to England; travel in France and Italy; return to Chicago; founding of graphic workshop; Hairy Who group; The Imagists; Seven and Up exhibitions; Red Grooms in Chicago; and commissions. She recalls George Buehr, Margo Hoff, Dudley Crafts Watson, Vera Berdich, Joseph Hirsch, Carl Schneiwind, Kathleen Blackshear, Mauricio Lasansky, Gertrude Abercrombie, Julius Carleback, Roland Ginzel, and Edgar Rupprecht.
Biographical / Historical:
Ellen Lanyon (1926- ) is a painter and printmaker in New York and Chicago, Ill.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Muralists -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Printmakers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women printmakers  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Women muralists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.lanyon75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97fd52325-f0b9-474d-b6fa-40cd5ed41bdd
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lanyon75

Oral history interview with Don Baum

Interviewee:
Baum, Don, 1922-  Search this
Interviewer:
Prince, Sue Ann  Search this
Names:
Illinois Arts Council  Search this
Roosevelt University  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Ito, Miyoko, 1918-1983  Search this
Leaf, June, 1929-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Spears, Ethel, 1903-1974  Search this
Extent:
2 Sound cassettes (Sound recording, analog)
108 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Interviews
Date:
1986 January 31-May 13
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Don Baum conducted 1986 January 31 and May 13, by Sue Ann Kendall, for the Archives of American Art, in Chicago, Illinois.
Baum speaks about his childhood in Michigan; interests during his college years at Michigan State; classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; friendship with artists such as Miyoko Ito and Ethel Spears; the Institute of Design and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; faculty and classes at the University of Chicago; jam sessions at Gertrude Abercrombie's home; teaching at Roosevelt University; the influence of travel; June Leaf; Leon Golub; psychoanalysis and its influence on his work; collage; The Hyde Park Art Center; objects with a magical aura; writing and writers; dolls; the relationship of self to art; outsider art; transformation; Joseph Cornell; the Hairy Who artists; collectors; the Museum of Contemporary Art; the Illinois Arts Council; Chicago art and artists; and travel in Indonesia.
Biographical / Historical:
Don Baum (1922-2008) was a sculptor, assemblage artist, curator, and educator from Chicago, Illinois.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 23 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Patrons must use transcript.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Psychoanalysis and art  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Function:
Art Schools -- Illinois -- Chicago
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.baum86
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw92ba7721e-824e-4e07-8e13-b3c15587ea48
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-baum86
Online Media:

Gertrude Abercrombie Christmas card

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
19--
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. Gertrude Abercrombie Christmas card, 19--. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Holidays  Search this
Relief prints  Search this
Winter  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11610
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11610

Karl Priebe Christmas card to Gertrude Abercrombie

Creator:
Priebe, Karl, 1914-1976  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Wilde, John  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1952
Citation:
Karl Priebe. Karl Priebe Christmas card to Gertrude Abercrombie, 1952. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Animals  Search this
Holidays  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11790
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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11790
Online Media:

Gertrude Abercrombie diary

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Abercrombie, Gertrude  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
1919 and 1924
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. Gertrude Abercrombie diary, 1919 and 1924. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16744
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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16744

Gertrude Abercrombie self-portrait

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Abercrombie, Gertrude  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
between 1940 and 1957?
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. Gertrude Abercrombie self-portrait, between 1940 and 1957?. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)18458
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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_18458

A maid bed is better made

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
between 1940 and 1957?
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. A maid bed is better made, between 1940 and 1957?. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)18459
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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_18459

Sketch of a tree

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
between 1940 and 1957?
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. Sketch of a tree, between 1940 and 1957?. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)18460
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_18460
Online Media:

Personal directory

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
1967 through 1972
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. Personal directory, 1967 through 1972. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19052
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19052

Jerome Karidis letter to Gertrude Abercrombie

Creator:
Karidis, Jerome  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
19--
Citation:
Jerome Karidis. Jerome Karidis letter to Gertrude Abercrombie, 19--. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Cats  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19079
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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19079
Online Media:

Jerome Karidis letter to Gertrude Abercrombie

Creator:
Karidis, Jerome  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1951 November 17
Citation:
Jerome Karidis. Jerome Karidis letter to Gertrude Abercrombie, 1951 November 17. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19080
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19080
Online Media:

Jerome Karidis postcard to Gertrude Abercrombie, Chicago, Illinois

Creator:
Karidis, Jerome  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
Chicago, Ill.
Date:
17 February 1952
Citation:
Jerome Karidis. Jerome Karidis postcard to Gertrude Abercrombie, Chicago, Illinois, 17 February 1952. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19572
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19572
Online Media:

List of jazz musicians who visited Gertrude Abercrombie's home

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Abercrombie, Gertrude  Search this
Gillespie, Dizzy  Search this
Parker, Charlie  Search this
Roach, Max  Search this
Rollins, Sonny  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
circa 1963
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. List of jazz musicians who visited Gertrude Abercrombie's home, circa 1963. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Jazz musicians  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19573
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Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19573
Online Media:

Autobiographical notes

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Abercrombie, Gertrude  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
circa 1963
Citation:
Gertrude Abercrombie. Autobiographical notes, circa 1963. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Cats  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19574
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19574

Karl Priebe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin postcard to Gertrude Abercrombie, Chicago, Illinois

Creator:
Priebe, Karl, 1914-1976  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Sandiford, Frank  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1955 September 7
Citation:
Karl Priebe. Karl Priebe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin postcard to Gertrude Abercrombie, Chicago, Illinois, 1955 September 7. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)21541
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_21541
Online Media:

Karl Priebe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin postcard to Gertrude Abercrombie, Chicago, Illinois

Creator:
Priebe, Karl, 1914-1976  Search this
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Subject:
Sandiford, Frank  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1955 September 7
Citation:
Karl Priebe. Karl Priebe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin postcard to Gertrude Abercrombie, Chicago, Illinois, 1955 September 7. Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)21542
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_21542
Online Media:

Gertrude Abercrombie papers

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Names:
Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981  Search this
Armin, Emil, 1883-  Search this
Armour, Richard Willard, 1906-  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Evans, B.  Search this
Huppler, Dudley, 1917-1988  Search this
Karidis, Jerome  Search this
Priebe, Karl J., 1914-1976  Search this
Purdy, Carl  Search this
Purdy, James  Search this
Rollins, Sonny  Search this
Rorem, Ned, 1923-  Search this
Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964  Search this
Warren, Paul, 1916-  Search this
Wilcox, Wendell  Search this
Wilde, John, 1919-2006  Search this
Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975  Search this
Extent:
5.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Date:
circa 1880-1986
bulk 1935-1977
Summary:
The papers of surrealist artist Gertrude Abercrombie date from circa 1880-1986, with the bulk of the material dated 1935-1977, and measure 5.9 linear feet. Found within are biographical material; correspondence (mostly incoming letters) with friends, museums, and galleries; files for artists that interested her; writings and notes, including five journal-type notebooks; scattered personal business records; two sketchbooks by Abercrombie and additional sketches and drawings, some by others; printed material, audio recordings, one scrapbook, photographs, and estate records.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of surrealist artist Gertrude Abercrombie date from circa 1880-1986, with the bulk of the material dated 1935-1977, and measure 5.9 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence (mostly incoming letters) with friends, museums, and galleries; artists files; writings and notes, including five journal-type notebooks; scattered personal business records; two sketchbooks by Abercrombie and additional sketches and drawings, some by others; printed material, audio recordings, one scrapbook, photographs, and estate records.

Biographical material consists of biographical notes, Gertrude Abercrombie's will, address books, and a file titled "memorabilia." Personal and professional correspondence consists mainly of incoming letters and some drafts of Gertrude Abercrombie's outgoing letters. Letters from museums and galleries concern loans of paintings and exhibitions. A large amount of the personal correspondence consists of post cards including many antique ones, as well as cards containing original art work by Julio de Diego, Jerry [Jerome] Karidis, Karl Priebe.

Artist files consist of correspondence, printed material, and photographs concerning painters, writers, a jazz musician, and a photographer. The individuals represented are: Dudley Huppler, Jerome Karidis, Karl Priebe, James Purdy, Sonny Rollins, Carl Van Vechten, Wendell Wilcox, John Wilde, and Thornton Wilder.

Writings and notes include reminiscences, miscellaneous writings and notes, and a girlhood diary with brief entries. Five notebooks contain a variety of writings dating from 1953 through 1975, and undated. One volume concerns only her second husband Frank Sandiford.

Business records include a painting catalog on file cards, mailing and guest lists, and miscellaneous sales records. In addition, six notebooks record expenses, sales, inventories, mailing lists, a register of paintings, and a guest book.

There are two sketchbooks, Christmas card designs, sketches and drawings done by Gertrude Abercrombie. There are also prints, drawings, and a painting by Emil Arman, B. Evans, de Diego, and unknown artists.

Printed material consists of articles and clippings about Gertrude Abercrombie, exhibition catalogs, and reproductions. Also included are books by friends inscribed by the authors, among them: Nelson Algren, Richard Armour, Dudley Huppler, James Purdy, Ned Rorem, Paul Warren [pen name of Abercrombie's second husband, Frank Sandiford], Studs Terkel, and Thornton Wilder.

Audio recordings (33-1/3 rpm phonograph alums) are inscribed to Gertrude Abercrombie by the artists. Orlando's album cover, designed by Abercrombie, incorporates one of her paintings.

Records of the Estate of Gertrude Abercrombie and the Gertrude Abercrombie Trust, Donald Baum, Executor, consist mainly of correspondence with the institutions that were offered works of art by Gertrude Abercrombie and from her personal collection. Also included are general correspondence, financial and tax records, and legal documents.

There is one scrapbook dated 1943 containing photographs and printed material.

Photographs are of art work, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects; negatives, slides, and transparencies are included in this series, too. Photographs of art include the work of Gertrude Abercrombie, Karl Priebe, and Charles Sebree. People pictured are Gertrude Abercrombie and family, including her parents, Richard I. Livingston, Dinah Livingston, and Frank Sandiford. There are also 19th and early 20th century photographs of ancestors. Among the images of friends are: Ivan le Lorraine Albright, Arnold Blanch, Dudley Huppler, Doris Lee, Karl Priebe, and Richard Purdy. Photographs of jazz artists include: Louis Armstrong, George Davis, Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Orlando, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughn, and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Of particular note the portraits of Gertrude Abercrombie and Dizzy Gillespie by Carl Van Vechten.Among the photographs of places are interior views of Gertrude Abercrombie's home and studio, unidentified landscapes, travel pictures of San Francisco and commercially produced stereopticon slides of other locations. Miscellaneous subjects are automobiles, cats, exhibition installations, and a still life setup.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 11 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1902-1976 (Box 1, OV9; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1935-1977 (Boxes 1-2; 1.65 linear ft.)

Series 3: Artist files, circa 1935-1977 (Box 2; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1919-1977 (Box 3; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 5: Business Records, circa 1944-1977 (Box 3; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 6: Art Work, circa 1939-1975 (Boxes 3, 7; O.2 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1906-1977 (Boxes 3-4; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 8: Audio Recordings, circa 1970-1974 (Box 7; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 9: Estate Records, circa 1976-1986 (Box 5; o.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Scrapbook, circa 1943(Box 5; 1 folder)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1880-1978(Boxes 5-7; OV8, 1.0 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Surrealist painter Gertrude Abercrombie (1909-1977) lived and worked in Chicago and was a prominent member of Chicago's Hyde Park arts community.

Abercrombie was known for surrealist oil paintings featuring dreamlike landscapes and fantasies. Her wide circle of friends included locally and nationally known artists, writers, and jazz musicians who made her home a popular avant-garde salon. She was the inspiration for Richie Powell's "Gertrude's Bounce" and, appeared as a fictional character in Malcolm, Eustace Chisholm, and as herself in Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue all by James Purdy.

The only child of Tom and Lula Janes [Jane] Abercrombie, Gertrude was born in Austin, Texas in 1909, while her opera singer parents were in town with a traveling company. In 1913, the family relocated to Berlin to further Jane's career, but the outbreak of World War I forced their return to the United States. They lived with Tom Abercrombie's family in Alledo, Illinois, before permanently settling in Chicago.

Gertrude Abercrombie had a facility with language and possessed musical and artistic talents. After graduation from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a degree in romance languages in 1929, she studied figure drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a short time. She then enrolled at the American Arcademy of Art, also in Chicago, for a year long course in commercial art. Her first job was drawing gloves for Mesirow Department Store ads, followed by a stint working as an artist for Sears.

By 1932, Gertrude Abercrombie began painting seriously. The following summer, she participated in an outdoor art fair in downtown Chicago where she made her first sale and received favorable mention in a newspaper review of the event. Abercrombie's work that featured self-portraits and recurring images of personal symbols - trees, horses, owls, keys, shells, doors, stairways, ladders - began to attract attention. Beginning in 1934, Gertrude Abercrombie was employment as a painter in the WPA Federal Art Project in 1934, enabling her to feel validated as an artist and move from the home of her conservative, Christian Scientist parents to her own apartment. The Chicago Society of Artists presented a solo exhibition of Abercrombie's work in 1934, and in 1936 she showed at the Katharine Kuh Gallery (along with Rita Stein and Nicola Ziroli). In 1936 and 1938 Gertrude Abercrombie won prizes at the Art Institute of Chicago's Annual Exhibition of Works by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity.

She left the WPA in 1940 and married lawyer Robert Livingston. Their daughter, Dinah, was born in 1942, and they soon moved to a large Victorian house on South Dorchester St. where Gertude lived for the remainder of her life. The couple divorced in 1948. That same year she married Frank Sandiford, a music critic whose pen name was Paul Warren. An accomplished improvisational pianist, Gertrude Abercrombie became friends with many prominent jazz artists whom she met through Sandiford; in fact, Dizzy Gillespie performed at their wedding. Abercrombie and Sandiford separated in 1964.

The 1940s through 1950s were Gertrude Abercrombie's most productive and prolific period. Although she no longer painted many portraits, he work remained focused on the same themes and symbols. She believed that art was about ideas rather than technique and insisted that "It is always myself that I paint." During this period, Amercrombie exhibited widely in group shows and had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Associated American Artists (New York), and Leonard Linn, Inc. (Winnetka, Ill.)

By the late 1950s, Gertrude Abercrombie began a long decline. Alcoholism started to take a toll. She suffered serious financial reverses, and in 1964 separated from Frank Sandiford. Debilitating arthritis eventually landed her in a wheel chair, and she became reclusive. In 1977, very near the end of her life, Gertrude Abercrombie was honored with a well-received retrospective exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. She was able to attend the reception and enjoy seeing the many old friends who were at the event.

Gertrude Abercrombie died in Chicago in 1977. Her will established The Gertrude Abercrombie Trust that cared for and distributed to various institutions her own paintings and a personal collection of works by other artists to selected institutions, mainly in the Midwest.
Related Material:
A photograph of Gertrude Abercrombie at home with her painting "Slaughter House", was donated by Donald Baum to the National Collection of Fine Arts in 1979 and transferred to the Archives of American Art that same year.
Provenance:
Donald Baum, executor of both the estate and trust of Gertrude Abercrombie, donated the papers to the Archives of American Art in 1978 and 1986.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Citation:
The Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.abergert
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93af9ed86-0dce-4ea7-9cb4-085eb5d48b67
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-abergert
Online Media:

Biographical Notes

Collection Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
The Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers
Gertrude Abercrombie papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bb96763d-f22d-42e5-9ae6-282a61b778ec
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-abergert-ref16

Will

Collection Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
The Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers
Gertrude Abercrombie papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98da8a52d-9d94-410f-af83-d48cb08790eb
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-abergert-ref20

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