American, 1921 - 2004
Truitt, Anne Dean
Anne Truitt was born Anne Dean in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1921. She studied psychology at Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1943. During World War II she worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital as an assistant in the psychiatric lab and as a nurse’s aide. She left the field of psychology in the mid-1940s, first writing fiction and then enrolling in courses offered by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington, DC, a city to which she relocated with her husband, James Truitt, in 1948. After seeing Ad Reinhardt’s and Barnett Newman’s paintings in person for the first time at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1961, Truitt arrived at her mature style and began to create painted wood sculptures. By the late 1960s important critics such as Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried noted Truitt's work in their discussion of trends of abstraction that had come to be categorized as “minimal.” A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (1970) and National Endowment for the Arts (1971 and 1977), Truitt was also a professor at the University of Maryland at College Park (1975–1996) and the acting director of Yaddo (an artists’ working community in Saratoga Springs, NY) in 1984. Major retrospectives of Truitt’s work have been held at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1973), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (1974), the Baltimore Museum of Art (1992), and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (2009). Truitt died in Washington, DC, in 2004.