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Sue May Westcott Gill

(Wynnewood, Pennsylvania / 1887 - 1989)

Sue May Gill was born January 12, 1887 in Sabinal, Texas, the second child of Asa Jones Gailey and Sue Louise Connally. As a teenager she attended classes at the Chicago Art Institute. In 1910 Sue May Gailey married Dr. Orville D. Wescott, a physician residing in Denver, Colorado. Together they had one daughter, Mary Sue, in 1915. A doctor in the US Army during WWI, Orville remained distant from his family and diligent in his service to the government following the war, and the couple eventually divorced in 1927.

Sue May was persuaded to join her sister Sarah in Philadelphia during the years of separation from her husband and in 1919 she began her study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She took four years of painting study and returned in 1932 for a year of training in sculpture. Westcott won the prestigious Cresson Traveling Scholarship Award from the Academy in 1922 for her Indian Maiden portrait. In 1927, she and Orville Westcott divorced, and shortly thereafter, she married fellow artist Paul Gill, whom she had met in 1920 when they were both students at the Academy. From 1928 until 1982, Sue May Gill resided in English Village, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, in an English Tudor home that contained studios for both her and her husband.

Gill's first major one-person exhibition was held in 1930 at the Art Club of Philadelphia where her exhibition of sixty paintings -- portraits, floral still-lifes and small street scenes from North Africa - won unanimous critical acclaim. In 1931 Sue May Westcott joined, the Philadelphia Ten group, along with Susette Keast, whose numbers had recently been reduced by the death of Cora Brooks. She remained an active member of The Ten for the duration of the group's life and served as its Chairman 1934 - 1935. Known primarily as a portrait painter, Gill also painted still-lifes and landscapes and her work generally fits into the Post-Impressionist, representational tradition.

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