1876 – 1944
Theme/Style – Modernism, landscapes, still lifes
Media – Oils, gouaches, watercolors, pastels, ink drawings, lithographs, monotypes
Artistic Focus – Herman Albright’s works reflect both his affection for California and the sheer joy he found in his artistic pursuits. The subtle elegance of his works on paper was compared by critics to the practice of Asian artists; and his paintings of San Francisco Bay Area scenes, as well as many other areas such as Shasta, Monterey and the Eel River, were notable for their inspired, sensitive and lively use of color and varied brush techniques.
Career Highlights –
- Born Hermann Oliver Albrecht in Mannheim, Germany, in 1876, Herman Albright studied music and philosophy at Heidelberg University and traveled throughout Europe.
- Albright continued his travels upon his arrival in the United States around 1900, eventually settling in San Francisco in 1905. There he took a position at the Paul Elder Book Company, where he worked for the next 25 years.
- Originally doing photography as a hobby, by 1915 Albright was studying art and exhibiting in San Francisco, at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and at the San Francisco Art Association from 1916 through the 1930s.
- In 1917 he married his art teacher, painter Gertrude Partington, at which time he legally changed his name from Albrecht to Albright.
- Also known as H. Oliver Albright, Herman Albright was active in the San Francisco art community, and by the 1930s was able to devote full time to his art career. He exhibited often throughout the rest of his life, at San Francisco’s California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Commercial Club, Gump’s Gallery, and the Beaux Arts Gallery, as well as at the California State Fair and the Springville Museum in Utah, winning many awards.
- During the 1930s Albright made a series of lithographs and a series of Chinese ink wash drawings depicting the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge during its construction, both of which were highly regarded and widely exhibited, including a show of the ink wash drawings at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1937.
- Herman Albright passed away in San Francisco in 1944.
- Posthumous exhibitions of Albright’s work include The Art of H. Oliver Albright: An Appreciation at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1947, and a show at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in New York in 1953.
Bibliographic references are available upon request.