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

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 11 series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material , circa 1902-1976
0.1 Linear feet
Box 1, OV 9

Biographical material consists of biographical notes, Gertrude Abercrombie's will, address books, and a file titled "memorabilia." Among the memorabilia are: the wedding announcement of Gertrude Abercrombie and Robert I. Livingston; daughter Dinah Livingston's childhood letters and greeting cards to her mother, along with school records; miscellaneous printed material includes a newspaper clipping about the Aledo championship football team of 1900, of which Gertrude's father, Tom Abercrombie, was a member.
Description Container Select
Addresses, undated
(3 vols. and loose slips)
1
1
Biographical Notes, undated
1
2
Chicago City Council Tribute to Gertrude Abercrombie, 1977
1
3
Memorabilia, 1902-1967, undated
1
4
Stock Certificate, 1932
1
5
Will, 1976
1
6
Certificate and Diplomas, 1921-1929
OV 9

Series 2: Correspondence , circa 1935-1977
1.65 Linear feet
Boxes 1-2

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, and cards containing original art work by Julio de Diego, Jerry [Jerome] Karidis, Karl Priebe.
Description Container Select
Correspondence (Anderson-Williams; unidentified, Alice-Reg), undated
1
7-8
Correspondence, 1935-1965, undated
1
9-28
Correspondence, 1966-1977
2
1-16
Greeting Cards, 1950-1977
2
17

Series 3: Artist files , circa 1935-1977
0.25 Linear feet
Box 2

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. Additional letters from many of these people are included with correspondence (Series 1).
Description Container Select
Huppler, Dudley, 1950-1971, undated
2
18
Karidis, Jerome, 1951-1977, undated
2
19-20
Priebe, Karl, 1940-1976, undated
2
21
Purdy, James, 1953-1977, undated
2
22
Rollins, Sonny, 1962-1975
2
23
Van Vechten, Carl, 1950-1956
2
24
Wilcox, Wendell, 1947-1975, undated
2
25-26
Wilde, John, 1951-1968, undated
2
27
Wilder, Thornton, 1935-1975, undated
2
28

Series 4: Writings and Notes , circa 1919-1977
0.1 Linear feet
Box 3

Among the writings and notes are a girlhood diary with brief entries, reminiscences, miscellaneous writings and notes. Notebooks contain a variety of writings: Vol. 1: 1953-1959, includes income and expenses, quips, reminiscences, miscellaneous notes; Vol. 2: 1959 is a brief journal; Vol. 3: 1971-1975 includes reminiscences; Vol. 4: undated, features lists of cats, roomers, names and addresses; and Vol. 5: undated, is about Frank Sandiford, her second husband.
Description Container Select
Diary, 1919, 1924
(1 vol.)
3
1
Writings and Notes, 1963, 1975, undated
3
2
Notebooks, 1953-1959, 1971-1977, undated
(5 vols.)
3
3

Series 5: Business Records , circa 1944-1977
0.2 Linear feet
Box 3

Business Records: Vol. 1: 1949 (expenses, sales, inventory, profit and loss, mailing lists); Vol. 2: 1950-1959 (painting register); Vol. 3: 1950-1966 (sales register); Vol. 4: 1952-1957 (paintings exhibited); Vol. 5: 1957 ("Fall Opening" guest register); Vol. 6: 1969-1970 (sales at shows)
Description Container Select
Business Records, 1949-1969
(6 vols.)
3
4-5
Catalog File of Paintings
Out; In Studio, undated
3
6
Disposed Of (includes sales), undated
3
7
Sales [folded sheets in Catalog File], undated
3
8
Gilman Galleries, 1964, undated
3
9
Mailing Lists and Guest Lists, 1977, undated
3
10

Series 6: Art Work , circa 1939-1975
0.2 Linear feet
Boxes 3, 7

Art work by Gertrude Abercrombie consists of two sketchbooks, Christmas card designs, sketches and drawings. There are also prints, drawings, and a painting by Emil Arman, B. Evans, de Diego, and unknown.
Description Container Select
By Gertrude Abercrombie
Christmas Card Designs, 1939, undated
Sketchbook, undated
(1 vol.; see also: Box 7)
3
12
Sketches and Drawings, 1940-1957, undated
3
13
By Other Artists - Prints, Drawings, and Painting (Emil arman, B. Evans, Naomi Khrson, and unknown), 1975, undated
(see also: Box 7)
3
14
By Gertrude Abercrombie - Sketchbook; By Other Artists - Print (de Diego), undated
(disbound volume, original collation)
7
1

Series 7: Printed Material , circa 1906-1977
1.6 Linear feet
Boxes 3-4

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
Description Container Select
Articles about/mentioning Gertrude Abercrombie, 1946-1976
3
15-16
Books - Inscribed by Authors, 1939-1974
(26 vols.)
  • Algren, Nelson. The Neon Wilderness (2 photographs enclosed), 1968
  • Armour, Richard. Drugstore Days, 1959
  • Armour, Richard. Going Like Sixty, 1974
  • Blake, James. The Joint (clipping enclosed), 1971
  • Campbell, Gladys. The Momentary Beach, 1972
  • Cocreau, Jean. The Difficulty of Being (introduction by Ned Rorem; post card enclosed), 1957
  • Huppler, Dudley. The Lesson Book, 1946
  • Huppler, Dudley. The New Joker, 1961
  • Mezzrow, Milton "Mezz" and Bernard Wolfe. Really the Blues, 1946
  • Purdy, James. Cabot Wright Begins, 1964
  • Purdy, James. Eustace Chisholm and the Works, 1968
  • Purdy, James. The House of the Solitary Maggot, 1974
  • Purdy, James. Jeremy's Version, 1970
  • Purdy, James. Malcolm, 1959
  • Purdy, James. Malcolm [French edition], 1971
  • Purdy, James. The Nephew, 1960
  • Purdy, James. The Running Sun, 1971
  • Purdy, James. 63: Dream Palace, 1956
  • Rorem, Ned. The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem (post card enclosed), 1966 (see also: Cocteau, Jean)
3
17
Books - Inscribed by Authors, 1939-1974
  • Russell, Ross. Bird Lives!, 1973
  • Sandiford, Frank ( see: Warren, Paul [pen name])
  • Tarcov, Oscar. Bravo My Monster, 1953
  • Terkel, Studs. Giants of Jazz, 1957
  • Turbyfill, Mark. A Marriage with Space (commentary by Turbyfill enclosed), 1973
  • Warren, Paul. The Next Time Is For Life, [1953]
  • Wilder, Thornton. Heaven's My Destination, 1935, 1960 (2 copies [one paperback])
4
1
Books - Inscribed by Others, 1930-1939
(26 vols.)
  • Stein, Gertrude. Picasso (inscribed by Warren), 1939
  • Works in Progress, Number 1 (includes contributions by Algren and Purdy; inscribed by Helen), 1970
4
2
Books - Not Inscribed (History of the Hyde Park Art Center 1939-1976), 1976
4
3
Clippings
Gertrude Abercrombie, undated
4
4-5
Gertrude Abercrombie, 1954-1979
4
6
Artists, 1933-1974, undated
4
7
Jazz, 1948-1975, undated
4
8
Miscellaneous Art Topics, 1968-1977, undated
4
9
Miscellaneous Subjects (not art related), 1938-1973, undated
4
10
Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, 1932-1977, undated
4
11-18
Exhibition Catalogs (not Gertrude Abercrombie), 1936-1976, undated
4
19
Miscellaneous Printed Items, 1906-1951, undated
4
20
Periodicals
Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion (no. 3), 1976
4
21
The Living Museum, 1985
4
22
Manuscript (April 1935 and April 1936 issues contain pieces by Wendell Wilcox), 1935-1936
4
23-25
Postcards (blank), undated
4
26
Reproductions [from magazines and lecture programs], 1937-1973, undated
4
27-28

Series 8: Audio Recordings , circa 1970-1974
0.1 Linear feet
Box 7

All recordings are 33-1/3 rpm phonograph alums inscribed to Gertrude Abercrombie by the artists. Orlando's album cover, designed by Abercrombie, incorporates one of her paintings.
Description Container Select
Cain, Jackie and Roy Kral. "Time and Love" and "A Wilder Alias", 1972, circa 1974
7
2
Gillespie, Dizzy. "Dizzy on the French Rivera", undated
7
3
Orlando. "Orlando!...", 1970
7
4

Series 9: Estate Records , circa 1976-1986
0.5 Linear feet
Box 5

Records of the Estate of Gertrude Abercrombie and the Gertrude Abercrombie Trust, Donald Baum, Executor, consist mainly of correspondence with institutions being offered works of art by Gertrude Abercrombie and from her personal art collection. In addition, general correspondence, financial and tax records, and legal documents are included.
Description Container Select
Correspondence, General
5
1-3
Correspondence with Auction House (Henzel Galleries, Inc.), 1977-1980
5
4
Correspondence with Conservator Barry R. Bauman, 1979-1980
5
5
Correspondence with Institutions, 1875-1885
  • Auckland Memorial Art Center, 1980
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Prints and Drawings Department, 1978-1979
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture Department, 1978
  • Beinecke Library, Yale University, 1980
  • Detroit Institute of Arts, 1979
  • Elmhurst College, 1979-1980
  • Essley Noble Memorial Museum, 1979
  • Illinois State Museum, 1979
  • Illinois State University, Center for Visual Arts Gallery, 1979
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1978
  • Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 1978-1979
  • Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1978
  • Madison Art Center, Inc., 1978-1979
  • Milwaukee Art Center, 1978-1979
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), 1978-1979
  • National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 1979
  • National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 1978
  • National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1978-1980
  • Smart Gallery, University of Chicago, 1978-1979
  • Southern Illinois University Museum and Art Gallery, 1979
  • University of Michigan Art Museum, 1979
  • Western Illinois University Art Gallery, 1978-1979
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, 1978-1979
5
6-28
Financial Records, 1977-1984, undated
5
29
Inventories, 1977-1980, undated
5
30
Legal Documents, 1976-1980
5
31
Notes, undated
5
32
Tax Returns, 1977-1984
5
33

Series 10: Scrapbook , circa 1943
0.2 Linear feet
Box 5

The scrapbook contains photographs of works by Gertrude Abercrombie and a small amount of printed material consisting of reviews and pages from exhibition catalogs.
Description Container Select
Scrapbook (1 vol. disbound), 1943, undated
5
34

Series 11: Photographs , circa 1880-1978
1 Linear foot
Boxes 5-7; OV 8

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.
Photographs are arranged into 5 subseries:
  • Subseries 1: Art Work, 1978, undated
  • Subseries 2: People, circa 1880-1976, undated
  • Subseries 3: Places, 1958-1971, undated
  • Subseries 4: Miscellaneous Subjects, 1931-1961, undated
  • Subseries 5: Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, 1963, undated
11.1: Art work, 1978, undated
Description Container
By Gertrude Abercrombie, 1935-1978, undated
5
35-36
By Other Artists (works by Karl Priebe, Charles Sebree, and unknown, owned by Gertrude Abercrombie), undated
5
37
11.2: People, circa 1880-1976, undated
Description Container
Gertrude Abercrombie (includes portrait by Carl Van Vechten), circa 1909-1970s
(see also: Box 7; OV 8)
5
38-44
Gertrude Abercrombie with Groups (including Cameron, Huppler, Sandiford, Priebe, and unidentified), 1953-1960, undated
(see also: Box 7)
5
45
Gertrude Abercrombie with Groups (unidentified), undated
5
46
Gertrude Abercrombie with Individuals (Alizier, Benjamin, Cameron), 1939-1954, undated
5
47
Gertrude Abercrombie with Individuals (unidentified), 1932-1966, undated
(see also: Box 7)
5
48
Gertrude Abercrombie and Friends, circa 1945
(26 Photomatic pictures in small metal frames)
5
49-50
Family
Emma Gertrude Stevens Christmas Abercrombie [grandmother], 19th century
5
51
Joseph Abercrombie [grandfather?], 19th century
5
52
Tom and Jane Abercrombie [parents] (some views with Gertrude), 19th century-1920s, undated
5
53
Dinah Livingston [daughter], circa 1942-1960s
(see also: Box 7)
5
54
Robert Livingston [first husband] (some views with Gertrude and Dinah), undated
5
55
Frank Sandiford [second husband] (some views with Gertrude, unidentified individuals, and groups), 1947-1959, undated
5
56
Mr. and Mrs. James Stevens (Christmas) [great grandparents], 19th century
5
57
Unidentified Relatives, 19th century-1931, undated
5
58
Groups (including Don Baum, Arnold Blanch, Lester Bridaham, Dudley Huppler, Doris Lee, and Karl Priebe), 1936-1970, undated
6
1
Groups (unidentified), 1942-1969, undated
6
2
Individuals (Albright-Pearson), 1934-1975, undated
  • Albright, Ivan le Lorraine
  • Burroughs, Margaret
  • Chunning
  • Gillman, Mack
  • Hevish, Jack
  • Hupler, Dudley
  • Krogh, Whitney
  • Mann, Helen
  • Meyer, Kenneth
  • Meyers, Dick
  • Pearson, Albert Raphael
  • Purdy, Richard ( see: Box 7)
6
3
Individuals (Priebe, Karl), 1970, undated
6
4
Individuals (Ruwolo [?]-Woolf), 1942, undated
  • Ruwolo [?]. Felix
  • Tichon, James
  • Velde, Rosabelle
  • Wilcox, Wendell
  • Woolf, Samuel
6
5
Individuals (Unidentified), 1936-1976, undated
(see also: OV 8)
6
6
Jazz Artists (Armstrong-Garner), undated
  • Armstrong, Louis
  • Bigard, Barney
  • Catlett, Sidney
  • Cooper, Nicholas F.
  • Davis, George ( see also: Box 7)
  • Garner, Erroll
6
7
Jazz Artists (Gillsepie, Dizzy; includes portraits by Carl Van Vechten), 1947, undated
6
8
Jazz Artists (Gordon-Washington), 1947, undated
  • Gordon, Dexter and Melba Liston
  • Harris, Bill
  • Hawkins, Coleman
  • Hines, Earl
  • Jackson, David
  • Krissly, Swiss
  • Liston, Melba ( see: Gordon, Dexter and Melba Liston)
  • McGhee, Howard
  • Orlando
  • Parker, Charlie
  • Phillips, Joe "Flip"
  • Potter, Tommy
  • Roach, Max
  • Rollins, Sonny
  • Sinatra, Frank
  • Thompson, Sonny
  • Vaughn, Sarah
  • Venturo, Charlie
  • Washington, Leon
6
9
Jazz Artists (unidentified), undated
6
10
Jazz Artists - Groups (Modern Jazz Quartet), undated
6
11
Jazz Artists - Groups (including Davis, Harris, Roach, Rollins, Vaughn, unidentified, Gertrude Abercrombie and Frank Sandiford), 1959, undated
6
12
Gertrude Abercrombie, undated
(see also: Box 5)
7
5
Gertrude Abercrombie with Others (school picture; with unidentified man), circa 1923, undated
(see also: Box 5)
7
6
Family and Individuals (Dinah Livingston [daughter]; Richard Purdy), undated
(see also: Box 6)
7
7
Jazz Artists (Davis, George; unidentified), undated
(see also: Box 6)
7
8
Gertrude (Raphael McPerhson, photographer); Unidentified Man, 19th century; undated
OV 8
11.3: Places, 1958-1971, undated
Description Container
Buildings - Exteriors (home of Gertrude Abercrombie [?]; unidentified), 1958, undated
6
13-14
Buildings - Interiors (home and studio of Gertrude Abercrombie), 1971, undated
6
15
Landscapes (unidentified), undated
6
16
San Francisco, undated
6
17
Stereopticon Slides (mainly travel pictures), circa 1880-1900
6
18
11.4: Miscellaneous Subjects, 1931-1961, undated
Description Container
Automobiles, undated
6
19
Cats, undated
(see also: Box 7)
6
20
Elephants, undated
6
21
Exhibitions (unidentified group show with self-portrait; "Shells from the Collections of Gertrude Abercrombie", 1931, undated
6
22
Sailboat, "Jolly Molly", 1961
6
23
Still Life Setup, undated, undated
6
24
Cats, undated
7
9
11.5: Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, 1963, undated
Description Container
Art Work
Negatives, undated
6
25
Slides, 1963, undated
6
26
Transparencies, undated
6
27
People
Negatives, undated
6
28
Slides, undated
6
29
Transparencies, undated
6
30
Places
Negatives, undated
6
31
Slide, undated
6
32
Miscellaneous Subjects (negatives), undated
6
33

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.