The Trail of Time is Dust

Zsissly (Malvin Marr Albright)

Malvin Marr Albright adopted the pseudonym Zsissly to distinguish himself from his father, Adam Emory Albright, and identical twin brother Ivan. Zsissly's father had studied with Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy, and he instilled those teachings in Ivan and Malvin. Zsissly worked primarily as a sculptor, again to differentiate himself from his brother, who is best known for his grotesque figurative paintings. Ivan and Zsissly worked as part of the Federal Art Project in Chicago during the 1930s, and in 1943-1944 they collaborated on the paintings used for Albert Lewin's film "The Picture of Dorian Gray." The brothers shared a studio in Warrenville, Illinois, next to their father's studio. "The Trail of Time is Dust" is filled with objects related to the life of a fisherman, a subject explored by both Zsissly and Ivan. Nets, pulleys, ropes, lanterns, gloves, and other utilitarian objects are rendered with meticulous realism and a nearly monochromatic palette. The simultaneous feelings of nostalgia and decay relate to childhood memories of the Albright family's summers spent in rural fishing villages. In 1965, this work received the Philadelphia Watercolor Prize in the Pennsylvania Academy's annual exhibition.
Date of Birth
Watercolor and gouache on paper
27 1/2 x 40 1/2 in. (69.85 x 102.87 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
On View
On Loan