Adolf Henry Aldrich Biography

Adolf Henry Aldrich




Adolf Henry "Hank" Aldrich, painter, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, architect, art director and set designer, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on October 17, 1916. He studied at the Art Students League in New York.

During the Great Depression, Aldrich joined the ranks of artists working for the Federal Art Project under the WPA and created a woodcut entitled Shoeing Circus Horses. In 1938, this woodcut was selected for inclusion in a National Print Exhibit at the Federal Art Gallery on Beacon Street in Boston. In 1939, he was awarded First Prize for an oil painting by the Springfield Art League. Aldrich won First Prize in Sculpture at the First Annual Art Exhibit sponsored by the Storrowton Art Council in 1941. During World War II, Aldrich was a Merchant Seaman serving in both the European and the Pacific theatres.

Following the war, Aldrich resumed his painting and printmaking and continued to receive awards for his work. He received special mention for an etching, Air Attack, at the National Maritime Union Exhibit at the ACA Gallery in New York City in 1945. Aldrich worked at Atelier 17 in New York between 1947 and 1949. There, he created Girl on a Fire Escape, which was exhibited at the important 1949 exhibition, Atelier 17 Group, at the Laurel Gallery in New York. He also received a first prize for Girl on Fire Escape from the Springfield Art League in 1949; First Prize for a watercolor, NJ Beachfront, also from the Springfield Art League in 1950.

During the decades of the fifties through the seventies, Aldrich worked as an illustrator and Liberty Magazine was one his clients. He also had a career in the film industry working as art director on several films including I Never Sang for My Father (1969); Natural Enemies (1979); Lord Shango (1975); Gamera (1965) and Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965), and was the set designer for Paper Lion (1968). As a self-taught architect, he designed several professional buildings and private residences in New York and Pennsylvania.

Aldrich's was a member of the United Scenic Artists and the Pocono Arts Council and his work is represented in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the New York Public Library.

Adolf Aldrich died in Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania on April 2, 2010.