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 Alice Trumbull Mason  (1904 - 1971)

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About: Alice Trumbull Mason
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Connecticut      Known for: abstract-geometric, graphics

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An abstract painter, she was a meticulous worker who ground her own pigments and then mixed her paints, which she placed in carefully diagrammed designs of pure blocks of color. In 1936, she was one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists at a time when that style was not at all well received. As she got older, her work got darker and more muted, but they always had balance of form.

Her husband was a ship's captain who was gone for long periods of time, and she raised two children virtually alone. The early death of her son in 1958 at sea caused her to go into isolation, and she increasingly sought more solitude.

She was of upper class New England heritage with one of her ancestors being the American Revolution painter John Trumbull. Because her father didn't need to work, the family traveled extensively in Europe, and she studied at the British Academy in Rome. At age twenty, she enrolled in the National Academy in New York and at the Grand Central Galleries where she first tried abstract painting under the influence of her teacher, Arshile Gorky. She called her work "architectural abstractions."

In 1928, she married Warwood Mason and raised small children for several years before returning to her career. In 1942, she had her first solo show at the New York University Museum of Living Art. Although she had other shows, she was never widely recognized. After her death in 1971, a major retrospective of her painting was held at the Whitney Museum in New York, and many exhibitions of American abstract painting carry her work. Her daughter, Emily Mason Kahn, is also an artist.

Source: "American Women Artists" by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein

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