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  • Gertrude Abercrombie

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Gertude Abercombie American Artist b. 1909-1977: Gertrude Abercrombie was born in Austin, Texas, on February 17, 1909. She was the only child born to Tom and Lula Janes (Jane) Abercrombie, who worked in a traveling opera company. Her mother's work as the prima donna in the opera company moved the family to Berlin when Gertrude was four years old. Remarkably, young Gertrude was the only member of her family to learn to speak German fluently and acted as a translator for her parents. Promptly returning to the United States at the onset of World War I, her family moved to the small town of Aledo in western Illinois, where her father's family lived. In search of new job opportunities, the Abercrombie family moved to Chicago where her father worked as a salesman. The family settled in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, the city where Gertrude Abercrombie would spend the rest of her life. At the age of 20, she earned a bachelors degree in Romance Languages from the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. Skilled as a writer, her university professors urged her to pursue a career as an author. After graduation however, she chose instead to attend classes in figure drawing and commercial techniques at the Chicago Art Institute and the American Academy of Art. In her interviews, Abercrombie emphasized that she was largely self-taught as an artist. In 1931, she worked as an illustrator doing glove advertisements for $15 a week at Mesirow department store. Later, Abercrombie drew illustrations as a revamp artist for the Sears' catalog. While working for Sears', she met Tom Kempf, who encouraged her to paint seriously. Listings wanted.

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