Artist Profile: Ann Brewster (1918–2005)

Shirley Sonya Zweifach was born in New York City and attended the Cooper Union Art School.  In the 1941 Cooper Union yearbook, the following was written about Shirley: “Imagine a girl who’s proud of having successfully avoided every meeting of the Dance Club since the middle of her first year. She’s not anti-social, but to Shirley Sonya Zweifach, life holds greater interests. Take painting now – Shirley works like an embryo Picasso on the canvas daubing – not bad either. She’s aiming toward an ivory tower where she can paint to her heart’s content.”  When Shirley graduated that year, she started to work under the name Ann Brewster.

Typically, at that time, women faced considerable difficulties breaking into the field of commercial illustration, which was largely a boys club.  However, in 1941, America was preparing for war and many young men were drafted into the armed services.  As a result, for the first time, young women like Ann could find work in previously male-dominated industries.  Starting in 1942, when she was hired to work for Binder Comics, Ann Brewster worked regularly through the 1970s.  Though she is best known for the type of romance comics that are featured below, she worked in all different genres.

Here are a few samples of Ann’s work:

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