Art: Backwoods Baby

In 1938, a big, glum-looking music student from Evanston, Ill. boarded a boat for Paris. She had a round-trip ticket, but was in no hurry to use the return half. Last week Gertrude O'Brady was back in Manhattan, calling up old friends with the invitation: "Come and see me, I've become a painter!" One day in Paris she had had a date with an art critic, and as a joke he had bought her some paints. "I was an absolute backwoods baby," says O'Brady. "I told him I couldn't think what to paint. 'Paint you and me going to the country...

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