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Albert Henry Krehbiel papers, 1893-1985

Albert Henry Krehbiel papers, 1893-1985

Krehbiel, Albert Henry, 1873-1945


Collection Information

Size: 1 linear foot (on 1 full and 1 partial microfilm reel).

Summary: Several personal documents, including Krebiel's marriage announcement. Correspondence, 1893-1945 and 1982-1985, consisting mostly of letters from Albert Krebiel to his family and friends, but also letters sent to Rebecca Krebiel regarding her late father-in-law. Writings and notes, including a 1906 notebook on Greek costumes; an undated notebook about murals for the State Capitol of South Dakota (Krebiel did not receive the commission for these); typed proposals for murals in the State Capitol of South Dakota, and for the Supreme and Appellate court rooms in Springfield, Illinois; versions of a manuscript entitled "Life and the Model in Quick Sketches";

notebooks created by Krehbiel between 1930 and 1945, containing notes on art and other topics, journal entries, thumbnail sketches of his paintings and watercolors, and notes for talks; loose notes and sketches by Krehbiel and by his wife Dulah. Published material about Krehbiel includes 1904, 1905 and 1906 issues of L'ACADEMIE JULIAN and newsclippings, 1907-1940 and undated. Photographs of paintings by both Albert and Dulah Krebiel, photographs of his studio and of Dulah posing for murals, and family photographs complete the collection.

Particularly remarkable are the letters from Albert Krehbiel to his family and close friends which are all profusely and beautifully illustrated. The earliest group of letters document his interest in the wheel. Another series, addressed to his sister Linda, includes a "Travel Log" of his transatlantic voyage to Europe and his sojourn there. Other letters written during the same years to his future wife, recount in detail his experiences as an American student in Paris and his travels. A group of letters written in the 1940s reveal Krehbiel's opinions on modern art and the social and political changes at the Cliff Dwellers, an important early Chicago art club.

Krehbiel's diary of 1938 is also of interest for his impressions of Mies van der Rohe, newly appointed director of the Armour Institute. Krehbiel was the only in-place instructor that Mies van der Rohe kept on the staff.

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in Iowa, Krebiel was important as a teacher in Chicago; he was part of the conservative art establishment and painted in both an academic and Impressionist manner. He began his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1902. In 1903, he studied on scholarship at the Academie Julian in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens. He remained in Europe until 1906, during which time he traveled and studied, winning four gold medals and the Prix de Rome. In 1906, he returned to Chicago, married a fellow artist, and joined the faulty of the Art Institute school. In 1907, he won a national competition for the murals in the Supreme and Appellate courtrooms in Springfield, Illinois. Krehbiel helped set up the Chicago Art Institute Summer School of Painting in Saugatuck and later founded the Albert Krehbiel School of Painting there. He was on the faculties of the Art Institute from 1906-1945, and the Armour Institute, now Illinois Institute of Technology from 1913-1945.


Lent for microfilming 1987 by Rebecca Krehbiel, daughter-in-law of Albert Krehbiel.

Location of Originals

  • Originals at the time of filming were owned by the daughter-in-law of Albert Krehbiel. It is the intention of the family that the collection will remain in their possession.

Additional Forms Available

Microfilm reels 4074-4075 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Albert Henry Krehbiel papers, 1893-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.