Vera Andrus Biography

Vera Andrus





Vera Andrus was born on 9 December 1895 in Plymouth, Wisconsin. She attended the Minnesota School of Architecture, the St. Paul School of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 1934, she won a scholarship to the Art Students' League in New York, where she studied with Boardman Robinson, George Grosz and Eugene Fisch. Like many of her contemporaries, she discovered lithography in the 1930s, learning under master printer George C. Miller and his son Burr. She printed her lithographs in small editions, from ten to fifty. Aside from lithographs, Andrus produced watercolors, pencil drawings, oil paintings and book illustrations but lithography was her lifelong passion.

Between the years 1931 and 1937, Andrus was a staff member at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, commuting from Dobbs Ferry in the Hudson Valley. At the Metropolitan, she earned the admiration of Hyatt Mayor, then curator of prints, and was awarded two scholarships for study in France. She also worked on the WPA Federal Art Project.

Andrus was a member of and exhibited with the National Association of Women Artists, the Creative Art Associates, the Boston Printmakers, the Boston Society of Independent Artists, the Cape Ann Society of Modern Art, the Salons of America, and the Rockport Art Association. In 1950, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art, London. Her prizes include Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1928); Boston Prints Makers (1954); and Rockport Art Association (1957, 1961, 1962). Her 1936 lithograph Memory Stairs, which was exhibited at the 1939 New York World's Fair, won the 1941 medal from the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.

Andrus’ work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; the Art Institute of Chicago and the DePaul Art Museum, Illinois; the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Weisman Art Museum, Minnesota; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the McNay, San Antonio, Texas; the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Andrus had solo exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Essex Institute Salem, Rockport Art Association, Concord Art Association, and the Gulf Coast Art Center of Clearwater. Her work was also included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Carnegie Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Venice Biennale, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Boston Arts Festival in 1959.

She was the author of several articles on lithography and on three books: Sea Bird Island, (Harcourt Brace, 1939); Sea Dust, (Wake Brook, 1955); and Black River, a Wisconsin Story, (Little-Brown, 1967).

From 1958, Vera Andrus lived and worked in Rockport, Massachusetts where she died on 2 April 1979.