DescriptionGERTRUDE ABERCROMBIE (American, 1908-1977)
The Ivory Tower, 1945
Oil on masonite
Signed and dated lower left: Abercrombie 45
15 x 19 inches (38.1 x 48.3 cm)
Associated American Artists, New York (label verso).
San Francisco Museum of Art, "The Women", 1945.
Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Illinois, Gertrude Abercrombie was among the most prominent and successful artists working in Chicago and one of many influential women strengthening the city's art scene from the late 1930s and into the 1960s.
She was dubbed "Queen Gertrude" by her wide circle of bohemian friends, which included artists, writers, and musicians.
Her paintings reflect a regional magical surrealism with deeply personal psychological content. Dreamlike landscapes bathed in moonlight and minimally furnished, pristine, and haunting interiors are hallmark themes. Abercrombie's paintings rarely include anyone other than herself and nearly all of the objects she depicts are her own. The tree outside her childhood home in Aledo, Illinois, her cat, her gloves, the Victorian furniture upholstered with beige and purple fabric and dark gray walls of her Chicago home can be found in several of her paintings.
Before her death, a retrospective exhibition of her work was held at the Hyde Park Art Center, displaying over 100 of her pieces. Since her death in 1977, Abercrombie's reputation as an artist has grown as her paintings continue to be exhibited. On behalf of a grant awarded by the Judith Rothschild Foundation in New York, Abercrombie's paintings were featured in a 2005 group exhibition at the National Academy of Design Museum titled Surrealism U.S.A.
Abercrombie's work is housed in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Illinois State Museum.
Overall in very good condition. Small areas just above and to the right of the castle appear dark under UV light.
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