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Sonia Gechtoff papers, 1950-1980

Biographical Note

Sonia Gechtoff (1926-2018) was a painter and printmaker active in San Francisco, California, and New York City, New York.
Gechtoff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in San Francisco, California. Her parents, Ethel (Etya) and Leonid Gechtoff, were active in the art industry--her mother ran art galleries and her father was a successful painter. Gechtoff studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and, after graduation, moved to San Francisco where she became acquainted with Beat culture and continued her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. Over the course of her career her style moved toward abstract expressionism. Her works were included at the Guggenheim Museum's Younger American Painters in 1954.
Gechtoff married artist Jim Kelly and together they moved to New York City in the late 1950s, where she continued to paint and was active in the New York art world. Additionally, Gechtoff taught at various institutions later in her career.
With Kelly, Sonia Gechtoff had two children, Susannah and Miles. She died in 2018 in New York City.