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Altson was born on July 4, 1910 in Antwerp, Belgium, the daughter of Alphonse and Louise VandenBergh. She began her professional training at the age of 12 with well known artist Leon Brunin, a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. She later studied at the Polytechnic School of Art in London, England, where she specialized in portrait painting and figure composition, winning several scholarships and the gold medal of merit. She was accepted to exhibit for several consecutive years at the Royal Academy in London before coming to the United States in 1939.
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