de Kooning, Willem
- Tracy Schpero Fitzpatrick
de Kooning, Willem (24 April 1904–19 March 1997), artist, was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the son of Leendert de Kooning, a beverage distributer, and Cornelia Nobel de Kooning, a café proprietor. After his parents divorced in 1907, Willem lived first with his father and then with his older sister and his mother, after she contested the custody arrangements. Willem left grammar school in 1916 and apprenticed with the commercial art and decorating firm of Jan and Jaap Gidding. He also enrolled in evening classes at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques, which he attended until 1924. In 1920 he left Gidding to work with Bernard Romein, the art director of a large Rotterdam department store. He traveled to Brussels and Antwerp in 1924, supporting himself through commercial art jobs....