WHAT: Bud Albers Art Recollections: Works from Life and Travels, feature exhibition at the Museum of East Tennessee History
DATE: On view through March 2, 2016
LOCATION: East Tennessee History Center
601 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
Edward S. Albers, Jr., has a unique way of capturing travel memories. Rather than the traditional camera, he travels with paints, a sketchbook, and a folding stool and often skips shopping for a scenic spot and an hour of sketching.
Visitors to the Museum of East Tennessee History can vicariously travel the world with Bud Albers through a selection of his most interesting and beautiful paintings, such as Dublin Doorway, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Russia, and Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria. Local pieces include a painting of Bud’s grandfather Andrew J. Albers, seated in his carriage and holding his small son, Edward S. Albers, Sr., who became Bud’s father. In the background is the family’s beautiful home that stood on the corner of Market and Locust, until torn down to make way for the present Medical Arts Building. The painting reproduces the scene from an old photograph. The exhibition, Bud Albers Recollections: Works from Life and Travels, is on view in the Bilo Nelson Auditorium of the East Tennessee History Center through March 2, 2016.
Albers is a retired businessman, philanthropist, and artist, whose family is deeply rooted in Knoxville and East Tennessee. He has a strong interest in history, and his vision was instrumental in the creation of the Museum of East Tennessee History.
Born in Knoxville in 1925, Albers grew up enjoying his father’s workshop tools and his drawing board, triangles, T-square, and pencils to freehand drawing trains and planes. Encouraged by an excellent grammar school teacher Mary Dowell, he studied the techniques of portraying perspective. This was enhanced by three years of elective drafting. Returning from Army Air Corps service in World War II, he worked on The Volunteer, The University of Tennessee yearbook. He became editor and also did much of the layout and artwork on the 1948 parody of Esquire magazine.
He graduated from UT with a Business Administration Bachelor of Science degree with Marketing and Advertising majors in September 1948. He then joined the family drug store and hospital supply business, Albers Drug Company. When Bud was 29 years old, he became the third generation president of the company when his father died in 1954. He rose through the leadership chairs becoming President of the National Wholesale Druggist’s Association, and later became the Director representing North America in the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers. Worldwide travel in fulfilling these duties presented numerous opportunities to record points of interest all over. After retirement, the wanderlust for art and travel continued.
While Albers occasionally paints from photographs, he prefers to paint outside, or as the French would say, en plein air, rather than working in a studio. Bud’s featured watercolors, pencil, and pen and ink sketches were created on site in the Grand Tetons, medieval French villages, Shanghai, and elsewhere throughout his travels. The exhibition features more than forty pieces depicting a variety of subjects including family portraits, trains, lighthouses, Greek temples, and Chinese boats. Many of the scenes are in Nova Scotia, the summer retreat for the family of his wife, the late Harriet Zinck Albers, who died in 2006. They traveled widely during their 54-year marriage, and she is often the figure in his sketches.
Bud Albers Art Recollections: Works from Life and Travels is sponsored by Dr. Reese W. Patterson, Jr. The Museum of East Tennessee History is open 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday; 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday; and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Sunday. Museum admission is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors, and FREE for children under 16. Each Sunday admission is FREE to all and ETHS members always receive FREE admission. The Museum is located in the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901. For more information about the exhibition, scheduling a school tour, or visiting the museum, call (865) 215-8824, email eths@eastTNhistory.org, or visit www.easttnhistory.org.