Gertrude Abercrombie
(1907 - 1977)

Gertrude Abercrombie was a painter but she didn’t consider herself a very good one. 

She painted what she felt, and developed her own distinct brand of Surrealism.

Abercrombie also made many friendships with other Chicago based artists, especially jazz musicians like Dizzy Gillespie.

Music: ‘Gertrude’s Bounce’ by Clifford Brown and Max Roach

Self as Art

Abercrombie often painted herself. 

Known affectionately to some as ‘the queen of Bohemian artists’ and to others as a sort of witch, her paintings reveal aspects of Gertrude’s identity, especially her love for the strange, playful and her sense of humor.

Abercrombie's Friends and the South Side

Abercrombie was well known for her parties.

She frequently hosted salons with musicians and artists in her Hyde Park home. 

Music: ‘Bang Bang’ by Dizzy Gillespie

Choose Another Artist

Gwendolyn Brooks





Art Curator

Katherine Dunham