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Browning attended London's Slade School of Art from 1937-39 and worked as a mapmaker for the Royal Air Force during World War II. She also worked as a set designer at the J. Arthur Rank Film Corporation and her first exhibition, held in 1949, featured paintings inspired by this work.
She moved to the United States in 1949, becoming an American citizen a year later. She was a major figure in the realist movement in the United States. In 2003, after surviving serious illness, she gave a substantial collection of her paintings to the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.
Browning was a National Academician, and taught at Pratt Institute, City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Walker Art Gallery, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Browning's work was reproduced in numerous publications including Time, The New York Times, Newsweek and American Artist magazine.
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