Adam Emory Albright
(American 1862-1957 )
Oil-on-canvas, signed lower right and dated 1916
Exhibited: The Art Institute of Chicago, "Pictures of Children Painted in South America and Southern California by Adam Emory Albright, 1920, #29”
Painting: 24” x 30”
Frame: 30 ½” x 36 ½”
Albright, born in Wisconsin, was, according to William Gerdts (Art Across America, Vol. 2), “The finest Paris trained figure painter to emerge immediately before the World’s Columbian Exposition.” He was one of the first students at the newly established Art Institute of Chicago from 1881-1883. From 1883-1886, he studied with Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After some training in Munich with fellow Wisconsin artist, Carl Marr, Albright studied in Paris with Benjamin Constant.
In 1888, Albright established his studio in Chicago and became president of the Chicago Watercolor Club as well as a member of the Chicago Academy of Design.
Early in his career, he chose to focus on paintings of children for which he became famous. At first specializing in street urchins and rustic children in outdoor settings, his work became more colorful and sun-filled following his greater exposure to impressionism at the Columbian Exposition.
The birth of Albright’s twin sons in 1897 gave him new models and his subsequent work featured the growing boys posed in rural surroundings. From 1908, many of his finest works were painted during summers at the art colony in Brown County, Indiana.
Albright’s popularity is reflected in his numerous exhibitions and in the extensive contemporary literature about him. Again according to Gerdts, “No other Chicago artist’s work was so widely exhibited at the Art Institute . . .”