Kaminski Auctions' special fall fine art auction on September 19 at the North Shore Art Association, in Massachusetts, featured a small oil painting by Gertrude Abercrombie (American, 1909-1977) that soared to $181,250 (with fees) from a $10/15,000 estimate.
Dated 1946, the 10¼ by 12½ inch work, entitled "Pyramid and Moon", came from a Danville, Calif., estate.
At Sotheby's in May 2021, Abercrombie's tiny Giraffe painting (4 3/4 by 6 1/2 inches), estimated to bring $10,000-$15,000, reached an artist auction record of $365,400.
Self-taught, Abercrombie developed her own style incorporating symbols with double meanings, set within mysterious settings.
Known as “the queen of the bohemian artists,” Abercrombie was a friend of Chicago jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughan, from whom she drew inspiration. She also hosted salons with artists, dancers, musicians, and writers at her home, with her role in the mid-20th century art scene currently explored in the exhibition Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of Their Time, now through December 30, at Chicago's Newberry Library.
Her work is also now featured in Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art, a traveling exhibition which debuted at the Toledo Art Museum in June and is presently at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky (October 7, 2021–January 2, 2022), before heading to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where it will be on view February 19 through May 15, 2022.