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Charlotte Albright, 97, a leading mid-20th century Buffalo artist
Jan. 25, 1910 -- Nov. 27, 2007

Charlotte Albright, an artist who was the great-granddaughter of Elbridge G. Spaulding, Buffalo's 13th mayor, and granddaughter of industrialist John J. Albright, died Tuesday in her Buffalo home, after a long illness. She was 97.

Miss Albright, who did portraits, landscapes and other works for an admiring local art market in the mid- to late 20th century, had not painted in many years.

But she figured prominently in a New York Times report last May about three nearly century-old autochrome photographs by Edward Steichen that she had donated to Rochester's George Eastman House collection.

Considered "among the few surviving masterpieces from the earliest days of color photography," the 1908 pictures are believed to be portraits of her mother, Charlotte Spaulding Albright, who was a friend and student of Steichen's.

They apparently sat unseen for decades in Miss Albright's home before her lawyer handed them to Anthony Bannon, the Eastman museum's director, in the parking lot of a suburban Buffalo ice cream parlor in August 2006.

A lifelong Buffalo resident nicknamed "Tad" by family members, Miss Albright graduated from Elmwood-Franklin School and Westover School in Middlebury, Conn.

She emerged as a leading Buffalo painter in mid-century and later formed a loose association with a group called the Oakland Artists that included Liz Tower, Grace McKendry, Nancy Jewett and Virginia Tillou. They held a collective exhibition in 1982.

She was a member of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy -- governing body of Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which was started with her grandfather's money -- and Western New York Artists.

Miss Albright, who never married, was an animal lover and horse-racing enthusiast.

A private graveside service will be held.


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