Gloria Stoll Karn graduated from New York’s High School of Music and Art in 1940. At age seventeen she began her career doing black and white interior illustrations for pulp magazines. This evolved into painting covers along with interior illustrations. Many of her covers were for Rangeland Romances magazine; she also did covers for All-Story Love, New Love, Love Book, Love Short Stories, Love Novels, Romance, and Thrilling Love magazines. Her work also included covers for Black Mask, Dime Mystery, Detective Tales, and New Detective. In addition, she did interior illustrations for Argosy magazine. She continued working in the hey-day of the pulps until 1949.
As a free-lance artist Gloria was able to finance further art education at New York’s Art Students League. Classes in anatomy, print making, and watercolor enabled her to balance commercial work with fine art in lithography, etching, and watercolor.
Gloria’s marriage to Fred Karn in 1948 introduced her to country life. They have three children and seven grandchildren. She continued with etching, teaching art classes, and painting in oils which evolved into an abstract mode. A one-artist show at the Carnegie Museum of Art was a highlight. An etching received a purchase award in Brooklyn Museum’s National Print Annual. A consistent prize-winner, she won third place in the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s Aqueous Open International Exhibition in 1998. Her work is in the permanent collections of Yale University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Westinghouse Corporation, Speed Art Museum Brooklyn Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and many private collections. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Art.
A series of oil paintings of biblical subjects synthesized various approaches in media and style, merging into a semi-abstract expression. Becoming a grandmother inspired Gloria to pick up watercolors again to paint her grandchildren. This led to a period of painting portraits in watercolor.
Her current work returns to abstraction which draw upon her life experience.