Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Velvety Prints of Grace Thurston Arnold Albee

Grace Thurston Arnold Albee (1890 –1985) was an American printmaker, born in Rhode Island. She is recognized as an important American Regionalist printmaker of the twentieth century.

She won two scholarships to study art at the Rhode Island School of Design. She married in 1913 and made art while living in Paris with her husband, muralist Percy F. Albee, and their five sons between World Wars I and II. While there she associated with artists, including Norman Rockwell and Paul Bornet.

As one of the most productive periods of her career, Albee perfected her art and gained entry into the French salons, exhibited her works at independent French galleries and at art shows back in the United States. All of these venues gave her significant positive reviews from both French and American art critics.

Albee developed a passion for depicting urban and natural environments when she lived in France. Her work was received well; exhibited at several Paris Salons and had her first one-woman exhibition at the American Library in Paris in 1932.

She and her family returned to the United States in 1933 and lived in New York City. In 1937, they moved to Pennsylvania where her subjects switched to rural themes. These images of rural life are considered her best known works.

From 1933 onward, Albee was able to dedicate herself to full-time printmaking and her art began to command serious national attention. Her work from this point forward demonstrates confidence as a professional artist. Her prints also became increasingly recognized in the American art community with the best printmakers in the field.

Back in the United States she began to gain significant recognition into museum collections. Albee became known for imagery about the effects of human habitation in the country and city. She became a keen observer of the world around her, and her career was shaped by outside forces affecting the American art scene, viewed through her personal life. Her images often narrate a story.

During her sixty-year working life, she created more than two hundred and fifty prints. She won numerous awards and honors, and worked actively into her 90s.

1942 National Academy of Design Associate member in 1942, full member in 1946.
The second woman in the history of the Academy to receive the Associate distinction in the class of Graphic Arts,
The first female graphic artist ever to attain full Academician membership.
Upon her death at the age of ninety-five, she had accumulated over fifty awards.

Public Collections:
Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Georgia Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

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