Elaine de Kooning "Self-Portrait" 1946 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was born in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Hunter College, the Leonardo da Vinci Art School and the American Artist's School in NYC. De Kooning was a talented and prolific artist but her marriage to the massively influential painter Willem de Kooning both brought her to national attention and somewhat"sidelined" or "ladies auxiliary-ed" her career. She was nonetheless a highly respected artist, portraitist, teacher and critic in her own right. She is often quoted as saying, "A painting to me is primarily a verb, not a noun, an event first and only secondarily an image." De Kooning's work is in the collection of MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Whitney Museum as well as many other major art institutions.