Ivan Le Lorraine Albright
painter and artist



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Ivan Le Lorraine Albright
painter and artist
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Birth Date

February 20, 1897

Death Date

November 18, 1983

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Born in Chicago to an artistic father, both Ivan Albright and his identical twin brother Malvin persued careers in the arts.

When they both enrolled at the Art Institute in their home town, the boys flipped a coin to see who would study painting and who would study sculpture. Malvin ended up a successful artist himself, creating for a time under the pseudonym "Zsissley" if Malvin wasn't bad enough.

Ivan took the coin toss seriously and painted all his life.  Many of his paintings are so detailed that they could take years to complete, and he charged for them accordingly. During the Great Depression, he charged up to 60% more than comparable artists. 


No digital image does his paintings justice, they need to be seen up close and in person. Much of the lace and woodgrain in the paintings were done with single hair paint brushes. His most well known work is The Picture of Dorian Gray which his brother assisted with and can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago. Back to their roots. The Smithsonian Archives of American Art has a great picture of the duo on set of the film set of MGM's The Picture of Dorian Gray.


He was the father-in-law of US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who took the family name.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Ivan Albright

Ivan Le Lorraine Albright (February 20, 1897 – November 18, 1983) was an American magic realist painter and artist, most renowned for his self-portraits, character studies, and still lifes. His dark subjects combined with his technique have called him to be referred to as "master of the macabre".


Ivan Albright and his identical twin brother, Malvin, were born in 1897 near Chicago in North Harvey, Illinois, to Adam Emory Albright and Clara Wilson Albright. Their father was a landscape painter, and came from a family of gunsmiths whose original name was "Albrecht". Both enrolled in The Art Institute of Chicago, where Ivan studied painting and Malvin sculpture. Ivan particularly admired the work of El Greco and Rembrandt.

Adam Albright moved his wife and sons to Warrenville, Illinois in 1924.

Albright attended Northwestern University, but dropped out and took up studies in architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During World War I he did medical drawings for a hospital in Nantes, France, which may have influenced his later style. After working in architecture and advertising briefly, he took to painting full-time. After living in Philadelphia through most of 1925 and 1926, he returned to Illinois, where he had his first show in 1930.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Ivan Albright.