Albert C. Runquist
Washington: Aberdeen, 1894
Oregon: Portland, 1971
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The younger of the Runquist brothers by three years, Albert was born in Aberdeen, Washington and educated at the University of Oregon, the Museum Art School, and the Art Students League in New York. He exhibited at the New York World's Fair in 1939 and at the San Francisco Museum of Art the following year. He worked on the WPA post office project in Sedro Wooley, Washington in 1940, but left to work as a shipbuilder for Willamette Iron and Steel. He continued at the Kaiser Shipyards in Vancouver, Washington until 1945 and the end of WWII.
In 1946 the Runquist brothers, Albert and Arthur, moved into the Harry Wentz house at Neahkahnie on the Oregon Coast. They lived and worked there for eighteen years. Albert commuted to Portland in 1946 to teach at the Museum Art School. The years on the Coast were productive; they lived in relative isolation and devoted their lives to painting. A Portland Art Museum catalog states, "Working within a limited range of color he achieves canvases which are genuinely poetic interpretations of the coastal scenes he knows so intimately. Driftwood, fishermen, boats, surf, dunes, and meadows, expressed with a light, nervous brushstroke, exist in a cool, silvery light." Albert's work appeals to the eye and emotions. He painted at the scene and worked quickly to capture the light before it disappeared. "Nature does not sit still to have her portrait painted."
The two brothers returned to Portland in 1963. Albert continued to paint until 1970 and died the following year. There was an original quality about the work of the Runquist brothers, and many times they were thought of as one. It is often difficult to distinguish the difference in style between the two. They felt signatures were not important and left many works unsigned. When Albert developed medical problems, Arthur signed his paintings for him.
[Artist biography reproduced with permission from the authors, Oregon Painters: the First Hundred Years (1859-1959), Ginny Allen and Jody Klevit.]
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