Hastings on Hudson, lithograph, 1933. A view of the factories along the river. Initialed on the stone. Edition 50. 10 7/8 x 13 1/8. Sometimes titled Power House In the permanent collection of the Boston Public Library and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Vera Andrus created a number of lithographs and watercolors of scenes along the Hudson River in the 1930s, many in her distinctive WPA period style. In excellent donation with full margins, directly from the estate of the artist.
VERA EUGENIA ANDRUS (AMERICAN, 1896-1979) was born in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Vera Andrus attended the Minnesota School of Architecture and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 1934, she won a scholarship to the Art Students League in New York, studying there with Boardman Robinson, George Groz and Eugene Fitsch. She became a lifelong friend of another Minnesota artist, Wanda Gag (1893-1946), whose lithographs sometimes reflected the same subjects. She printed her lithographs in small editions, from sometimes less than 20 to 50, making them more difficult to find as time goes on. While she also produced watercolors, oil paintings, and book illustrations, lithography was her life-long devotion. By 1970 she had created some 76 lithographs, relying throughout her career on the talents of master printer George C. Miller and his son Burr.
From 1931 to 1957, she was a staff member at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, commuting from Dobbs Ferry in the Hudson River Valley, where a prominent and wealthy branch of the Andrus family had settled. In the 1930’s she traveled to Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula and Nova Scotia, and in the 1950’s went to France on a scholarship. Both voyages proved inspiration for some of the stunning images. Finally she went to live and work for many years in Rockport, Massachusetts, where she had a gallery and sold her work, and where she died at 83.
She was a member of numerous art associations including the American Artists Group, Rockport Art Association and the Hudson Valley Art Association. In 1950 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art, London. She was awarded several prizes, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and numerous others (see below). Our records indicate that she also exhibited at the Whitney Museum, Carnegie Institute, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others, and had one-woman shows at the Smithsonian Institution, the Rockport Art Association, and elsewhere. She authored three books: Sea Bird Island, (Harcourt Brace, 1939); Sea Dust, (Wake Brook, 1955); and Black River, A Wisconsin Story, (Little-Brown, 1967.) The first two are also illustrated by the author, often using scratchboards to develop her illustrations and later rendering them as lithographs.