Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989)


Elaine De Kooning was an accomplished Abstract Expressionist and Figurative Expressionist painter known for her portraiture and semi-realistic animal forms. She was commissioned to paint many high-profile portraits, and was in the process of completing President John F. Kennedy's portrait at the time of his assassination.

Elaine de Kooning gained recognition as a respected artist, writer, and educator, even as she worked tirelessly to promote her husband Willem de Kooning's career. Her art criticism for ARTnews was highly regarded, and she reviewed the work of artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Franz Kline. She wrote persuasively about the Abstract Expressionism movement, although her own work was figurative.

De Kooning held teaching positions at Yale University, the Parsons New School for Design, the University of New Mexico, Carnegie Mellon, the Cooper Union, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She died in 1989 in Southampton, New York.

Schools of Study

Leonardo Da Vinci Art School, NY
American Art School, NY

Partial List of Collections

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Guggenheim Museum, NY
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Selected Exhibitions

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Selected Works in Our Inventory