In search of Ernest Albert: Terry Vose’s Odyssey to Guatemala

As told by Robert C. Vose III

A long-distance phone call from Guatemala piqued the curiosity of Robert C. Vose III (Terry). Did we have any interest in paintings by Ernest Albert? In 1981, Vose Galleries, along with the Albert Family, staged the first retrospective show of the Connecticut Impressionist’s work since his death, and Terry was eager to find more.

Correspondences between Ernest Albert and 
Robert C. and N. M. Vose brothers, c. 1923

Guatemala conjured visions of a police state with armed guards and tanks, but instead Terry found a lush land whose native population is world famous for its textiles. Terry soon met the world expert on the subject: Ernest Albert’s grandson. Thirty years earlier “Hank” established the first United States trade mission in Guatemala, settled there, and amassed the largest collection of native textiles in the world, some 9,500 items. He soon whisked Terry to the city of Chi Chi, a three-hundred-year-old mecca of trade where a farrago of Guatemalans displayed their crafts.

Finally they reached Hank’s 16th-century Spanish-style home. On the walls of this unlikely spot hung twenty-three of Ernest Albert’s finest oils, in pristine condition and never before on the market, an art dealer’s nirvana.

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