Vera Andrus Biography

Vera Andrus




Vera Andrus was born on December 9, 1895 in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Vera Andrus attended the Minnesota School of Architecture and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 1934, she won a scholarship to the Art Students' League in New York, studying there with Boardman Robinson, George Grosz and Eugene Fisch. She was a lifelong friend of another noted Minnesota artist, Wanda Gag. Like many of her contemporaries, she discovered lithography in the 1930's, learning under master printer George C. Miller and his son Burr throughout her career. She printed her lithographs in small editions, from ten to fifty, making them more difficult to find as time goes on. While her estate also includes watercolors, pencil drawings, oil paintings and book illustrations, lithography was her lifelong devotion. By 1970 she had created some seventy-five lithographs.

From 1931 - 1957, she 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. In 1958, she came to live and work in Rockport, Massachusetts, where she died at 83 on April 2, 1979.

She was a member of the National Association of Women Artists, American Artists Group, Creative Art Associates, Boston Printmakers, Boston Society of Independent Artists, Cape Ann Society of Modern Art, and the Rockport Art Association. She was also a member and President of both the Rocky Neck Group and the Hudson Valley 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 New York World's Fair, won the 1941 medal from the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.

Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, University of Minnesota, and University of Maine.

One-woman shows include the Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Essex Institute Salem, Rockport Art Association, Concord (MA) Art Association, Gulf Coast Art Center of Clearwater (FL), and the Carlisle (MA) Gallery. In 1980, June and Norman Kraeft of the June 1 Gallery in Bethlehem, Connecticut, held an important retrospective of her work featuring some forty lithographs, and adding significantly to the information available on the artist. In addition, her work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, the Venice Bienniale, 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).

Information courtesy Tony Fusco of Fusco & Four