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Gertrude Martin Tonsberg   Click Images to Enlarge

Gertrude Martin Tonsberg
Copley Square, Boston, Winter
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 in.
Gertrude Martin Tonsberg

(American, 1902-1973)

The artist was born Gertrude Martin in East Gloucester, Massachusetts on February 2, 1902 and spent her professional life in and around Cape Ann and Boston. She graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art and the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts studying the traditions of the Boston school of painting as handed down by Edmund C. Tarbell and Frank W. Benson. She was a private student of William McNulty at the Art Students League and of Leon Kroll at the National Academy of Design (NYC) and was an active member of the Guild of Boston Artists (after 1915) and served on the original committee to set up the Boston Arts Festival. She was also a member of the North Shore Art Association, the Rockport Art Association; the Gloucester Society of Artists; the Boston Art Club; and the Society of Independent Artists.

Tonsberg taught privately and lectured at colleges and museums through New England about how to paint, including the Pioneer Valley Association First Annual Art Show (1952, honorable mention) alongside Andrew Wyeth. Her first solo show was in 1960 by the Vose Galleries of Boston. In 1962 her work hung alongside Charles Demuth, Jules Pascin and John Marin at the Museum of Art of Oqunquit, Maine. She taught art at Hatfield’s Color Shop, Boston and continued to paint and exhibit until her death on April 4, 1973.

Tonsberg is best known for her street scenes of the Boston area. Her subjects of streets were highly influenced by the work of John Sloan and Everett Shinn. Most of her Copley Square paintings were executed from 1918-1935 from her studio windows that looked out upon the Boston Public Library (at the left of this canvas) and Trinity Church (seen in the distance).