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B. New York, NY, 1921
D. Southampton, NY, 2019

Mary Abbott (b. 1921) was born and raised in New York City. In the 1940s she began studying art at the Art Students League with George Grosz. She went on to study with Eugene Weiss at Corcoran Museum School and began splitting her time between New York, Southampton, and Washington D.C. During this time Abbott also had a very successful modeling career.

In 1946, Abbott separated from her husband and moved downtown into a coldwater flat at 88 Tenth Street. There she met the sculptor David Hare, who introduced her to Willem de Kooning, whose studio was nearby. De Kooning encouraged Abbott to further explore intuitive painting. Abbott and de Kooning remained close friends until his death. During this time Abbott enrolled in the experimental Subject of the Artists School, founded by William Baziotes, David Hare, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko. She became one of few female members of The Club, and her work was shown at the Tanager Gallery, Kootz Gallery, and Tibor de Nagy. She was also in three of the famous Stable Gallery Annuals.

In 1950 Abbott remarried a businessman from Southampton and began traveling frequently, spending time in Haiti and the Virgin Islands. In the 1960s, after her second marriage ended, Abbot taught at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. After a decade teaching, she returned to New York, dividing her time between the city and Southampton.

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