Adam Emory Albright

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Adam Emory Albright


Born in Monroe, Wisconsin, Adam Albright was one of the first students at the newly established Art Institute of Chicago. He studied there from 1881 to 1883. Albright also attended Kansas University and some of his early work was likely done in Kansas. He went on to become a noted landscape, still life, and figure painter.

His style was impressionism mixed with realism. Strongly opposing the modernism of the early 20th century, he said, "They give you boiled squash with a mule's foot on it and call that art." (Richter 24)

At the Chicago Art Institute, he was a student of Henry Fenton Spread and John Vanderpoel. He also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1883 to 1886 with Thomas Eakins, in Paris with Benjamin Constant, and in Munich. He established his studio in Chicago in 1888 and became President of the Chicago Watercolor Club. He was also a member of the Chicago Academy of Design.

He chose juvenile subjects for many paintings early in his career. After being exposed to Impressionism during the Columbian Exposition, his work became more colorful and sun-filled. From 1908, he spent many summers at the art colony of Brown County, Indiana, and from 1917 frequently spent winters in Arizona where he painted desert landscapes and figures. He was a teacher at the Albright Atelier in Lamar, Missouri and also lived in Winnetka and Warrenville, Illinois.

About him, William Gerdts wrote, "No other Chicago artist's work was so widely exhibited at the Art Institute; . . . A constant flow of articles appeared about the artist and his work, all praising his innate sympathy with childhood and with the rural environment and referring to him as the 'James Whitcomb Riley of the Brush.' “ (Art Across America, Vol 2)

County Art Colony


The Brown County Art Colony was formed in the early 1900s by artists who were attracted by the undisturbed picturesque landscape known as Peaceful Valley.  T.C. Steele was the first to become a resident of the county when he purchased 200 acres near Belmont. Adolph Shulz is considered to be the founder of the Brown County Art Colony.  He began visiting Brown County in 1908 and in 1917 became a permanent resident. Both Adolph Shulz and T.C. Steele influenced other artists and many began building cabins and moving to the area.  Will Vawter and Gustave Baumann were among the first to make Brown County their home.  Other artists such as Charles Dahlgreen, Lucie Hartrath, and L.O. Griffith came from Chicago and by the early 1930s there were at least eighteen artists with permanent homes in Brown County.  Artists such as C. Curry Bohm, Edward K. Williams, Ada Walter Shulz, Carl Graf, V.J. Cariani, Gustav Baumann, Will Vawter, Dale Bessire, Georges LaChance, Marie Goth, Leota Loop, Adam Emory Albright, Olive Rush, and Alexis Fournier flourished and created the Brown County Art Colony nearly 100 years ago.




Letsinger-Miller, Lyn. The Artists of Brown County. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.


Nesbit, M. Joanne, ed., Barbara Judd, comp. Those Brown County Artists: The Ones Who Came the Ones Who Stayed the Ones Who Moved On. Nashville: Nana’s Book, 1993.


Adam Emory Albright


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