American, 1910 - 1997
Signed Mary Gehr, lower right
Mary Gehr was born in Chicago in 1910. Gehr attended Smith College, but left before graduation to pursue a career in dance. She danced and toured with the Chicago Opera Ballet and with the notable Ruth Page dance company, the Page-Stone Ballet. In 1936, Gehr’s father died and she returned to Chicago and got a job working in advertising. She began classes at the Art Institute during this time, to aid her in her new career. The classes made Gehr realize she wanted to be be an artist.
She had fifty-one, one-woman shows and illustrated over two dozen books during her career. Her work can be found in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1997, Gehr died in Chicago at the age of 87.