Albert Gold (1916-2006)

Albert Gold (1916-2006)

Albert Gold’s three years as a WWII combat artist would certainly have contributed to the earthy realism of his art. In his writings he mentions that the war was as important in his artistic development as the Great Depression had been.[i] He was already well known for his depictions of ordinary Americans in their everyday lives, often devastated by the Great Depression.  He portrayed unemployed and hopeless men, tenement life, circus scenes, people at lunch counters, at ethnic markets or the zoo in his hometown of Philadelphia.  In 1942, just before he was drafted into the Army, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome by the American Academy in Rome, and he quickly became one of only three artists covering the European theater.  In 1945 he returned to Philadelphia and to his role as teacher, illustrator and artist.

[i] Exhibition catalogue, Coming Home: American Paintings, 1930-1950, from the Schoen Collection

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He studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art­--now the University of the Arts--and taught there for 38 years.  His last position was as chair of the illustration department, which he helped to found, and he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.  Along with illustration and printmaking, Gold’s primary interest was in drawing, and he thought that, “Draughtsmanship and craftsmanship are becoming quite rare.  If you want to be remarkable in our times, try to draw.” [i]

During his long life, Gold exhibited widely, often in one-man shows, and his works hung in many important venues worldwide, including the Pentagon, the Metropolitan in New York, London’s National Gallery, the Musée Galliera in Paris, the Smithsonian and many others.  His work was shown at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, the Venice Biennial, the Art Institute in Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, and in many other important venues.

References:  Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, Vol. II, Peter Hastings Falk, Editor; Sound View Press.   

[i] Ibid.

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