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 Albert Ketcham Murray  (1906 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: New York/Kansas      Known for: combat views, portrait-Navy heroes

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from Auction House Records.
Demolition Crew at Work, Frejus Beach France
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Faith Brabenec Hart of Evanston Illinois: She is editing the war biography of Murray, written by Marion S. Gilliland (deceased).

During World War II, Albert K. Murray (1906-1992) was among the five original Navy combat artists along with Griffith Bailly Coale, William F. Draper, Dwight C. Shepler, and Mitchell Jamieson.  He documented in oil portraits the Navy General Board, the heroes of the USS Boise, and in watercolors the war efforts in the Caribbean and South America, and the invasion of Southern France in the Second D-Day on 15 August 1944.

After the war, he remained on active duty another five years in order to complete a series of portraits of the war's leaders and heroes.  His portraits of Fleet Admirals King, Nimitz and Halsey, and Admiral Mitscher and Secretary of Defense Forrestal are in the National Portrait Gallery.  His portrait of Nimitz at the surrender of the Japanese is at the Pentagon, along with many portraits of Secretaries of Defense and Secretaries of the Navy. Eight portraits reside in the Naval War College, Newport; twelve at the Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis; and others at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, and the Marine Commandant's House in Washington.

After his active duty years in the Navy, and working mostly in his studio in New York City, Murray in the later decades of his career also painted many distinguished leaders of civilian enterprise, such as Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM; Leonard Carmichael and Alexander Wetmore, of the Smithsonian Institution (all three are in the National Portrait Gallery); Laurance S. Rockefeller; Arthur H. Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times; Alfred P. Sloan and Charles F. Kettering, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; S. Dillon Ripley, of the Smithsonian Institution; Harry Oppenheimer, of De Beers; Secretary of State Christian A. Herter; and Senator Claiborne Pell.

Albert Murray was a native of Emporia, Kansas.  He studied at Cornell University and graduated from Syracuse University, and then studied in England and France before spending two years in Mexico with the noted portrait artist Wayman E. Adams.  Upon Murray's death in 1992, the Albert K. Murray Fine Arts Educational Fund was established to provide scholarships to American students in pursuit of art degrees.

His works rarely if ever come up for auction, being already largely in public, corporate, or government collections.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Emporia, Dec. 29, 1906; died Emporia, 1992. Painter, spec. portraits, combat scenes. Studied at Cornell University, graduated from Syracuse University then studied in England and France before spending two years in Mexico with the noted portrait artist Wayman E. Adams. During World War II, he served as a combat artist for the U.S. Navy and remained on active duty to complete a series of portraits of the war leaders. After his military service, Murray painted many distinguished business and political leaders.
Syracuse University; University of Illinois; Princeton University; Interational Business Machines (IBM) Corporation Contemporary Art in the United States, Collection of the International Business Machines Corporation. Exhibitions in its Gallery of Science and Art, IBM Corporation Building, World’s Fair of 1940, NY.; National Gallery of Art; Lafayette University; Union Club, NY; Naval Academy; Naval War College; U.S. Military Academy; Coast Guard Headquarters; Marine Commandant’s House in Washington; National Portrait Gallery

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47., 6,7; Sain, Lydia. Kansas Artists, compiled by Lydia Sain from 1932 to 1948. Typed Manuscript, 1948.; Festival of Kansas Arts and Crafts. Catalog: Arts and Crafts of Kansas: an Exhibition held in Lawrence, Feb. 18-22, 1948 in the Community Building. Lawrence: World Co., 1948; NMAA file; AskArt ,, accessed Dec. 21, 2005; Cheevers, Jim. Christie's Presents Albert Murray, a Retrospective. (New York: Christie's, 1995).
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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