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 Maxine Albro  (1893 - 1966)

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Lived/Active: California/Iowa      Known for: Mural painting-agriculture and hispanic subjects, lithography

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Ad Code: 3
Maxine Albro
from Auction House Records.
The Water Carriers
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ayrshire, Iowa on Jan. 20, 1893, Maxine Albro, when quite young, moved with her family to Los Angeles where she grew up and graduated from high school in 1920. Moving to San Francisco at that time, she worked as a commercial artist in order to fund one year of art study at the Art Students League in NYC and in Paris at Ecole de la Grande Chaumière. 

Upon returning to San Francisco, she then attended the California School of Fine Art during 1923-25.  In the 1930s she worked for the Federal Public Works of Art Project.  On one of her many trips to Mexico she studied mural painting with Diego Rivera. 

After marrying sculptor Parker Hall in 1938, she settled in Carmel on the Monterey Peninsula.  Although she specialized in Spanish and Mexican motifs, her work also includes landscapes and street scenes gleaned from her world travels. 

She died in Los Angeles on July 19, 1966. 

Member:  Carmel Art Association; California Society of Mural Artists; American Artists Congress (NYC). 

California Art Club, 1918; San Francisco Art Association from 1925; Delphi Studios, NYC, 1931; LACMA, 1933; Berkeley Women's City Club, 1934; Foundation of Western Art (LA), 1934; Beaux Arts Club (SF), 1930; Gump's (SF), 1932-34; GGIE 1939.  In:  SF State Teachers College; Allied Arts Guild (Menlo Park); Ebell Club (LA); Vallejo (CA) High School; Biltmore Hotel (Santa Barbara); Hofsas House (Carmel); Santa Catalina School (Monterey); Mills College (Oakland); De Young Museum; Coit Tower (SF). 
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
WWAA 1938-41; CAR; Art  & Artists of the Monterey Peninsula; Monterey: The Artists View 1925-1945.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Iowa, Maxine Albro became one of the first muralists to paint under the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) program during the Depression.  She also traveled widely in Mexico and painted many scenes of Mexican/ Spanish life.  She was married to sculptor Parker Hall, and from world-wide travels with him, painted many landscapes..

In San Francisco, she worked on murals with Diego Rivera, and then in 1934, received a commission to paint a fresco titled "California Agriculture" in the newly completed Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. In this work, she created a propaganda piece for the New Deal, a scene of farm workers happily harvesting good crops.  The figures had squat, massive figures obviously influenced by the style of Rivera. 

Maxine Albro studied at the Art Students League in New York and in Paris at the l'Ecole de la Grand Chaumiere, and the California School of Fine Arts.

Charlotte Rubinstein, American Women Artists

Biography from William R Talbot Fine Art:
Maxine Albro (1893-1966) is perhaps most widely recognized for her WPA work, especially her mural California Agriculture in the Coit Tower, San Francisco. Albro worked as a painter, muralist, lithographer and sculptor.

Like many of her colleagues drawn to the Mexican 'muralista' techniques and the possibilities of public art, Albro traveled to Mexico frequently and studied the methods of Diego Rivera. The indigenous Zapotec culture of Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec ultimately inspired Albro in many media.

The artworks of Maxine Albro are included in a number of important collections, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Oakland Museum of California, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the U.S. Library of Congress.

Covarrubias, Mexico South: The Isthmus of Tehuantepec; Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940; Rubinstein, American Women Artists; Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Oral History Interview, 1964.

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