George Ames Aldrich (1872-1941)

George Ames Aldrich (1872-1941)

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, George Ames Aldrich began his studies in New York at the Art Students League in 1891 and later traveled to Europe in 1894 for what eventually became a six-year stay. He enrolled at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie Julian in Paris, and worked as an illustrator for several American and English publications, including the London Times and Punch magazine. Aldrich eventually returned to America at the turn of the century and pursued his professional painting career, but went abroad again several times between 1904 and 1910, with sojourns in Brittany, Holland and Normandy. Back in the States, he continued his nomadic lifestyle, residing at times in New York, Duxbury, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, but was settled in Chicago after 1915. There he exhibited with the Art Institute of Chicago and at J. W. Young Galleries, and joined the Palette and Chisel Club. 

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Aldrich’s landscape subjects were as varied as the places he lived and worked throughout his career. His paintings of cottages situated along meandering rivers were inspired by his time in Normandy and Brittany, while scenes of dense forest interiors were captured during explorations of the Midwest. 

Aldrich returned to Europe again in the early 1920s, but maintained his Midwestern ties and eventually moved to South Bend, Indiana, in 1922. He continued exhibiting in Chicago, residing there again by 1926, and won many prizes over the next decade, courtesy of the Hoosier Salon and the Art Institute of Chicago. Aldrich passed away in Chicago in 1941. 

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, 1999; Greenhouse, Wendy, The Art of George Ames Aldrich (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013), Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, exhibition catalogue.

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