May 25, 2015
Albert Paley has been an active metal artist for over 40
years. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler
School of Art in Philadelphia and holds honorary doctorates from
the University of Rochester, State University at Brockport, St
Lawrence University and the University of Gothenburg in
Sweden. He has since created over 50 site-specific sculptures
in his 40-year career, and he’s still creating! Paley Studios
is located in Rochester, NY and employs 16 full-time people.
Albert’s sculptures can be found in many major museums here in the
US and Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New
York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts in
Houston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
What We Talked About
- Albert Paley will be lecturing at the
CanIronX blacksmithing conference in Nova Scotia. He will
address iron design, historical ironwork, and evolutionary
- While completing his BFA and MFA at the Tyler
School of Arts in Philadelphia, he was involved with all of the
disciplines in the program; drawing, painting, ceramics, and
graphic arts. He completed his undergraduate work majoring in
sculpture and minoring in metals.
- Albert took his
master’s degree in goldsmithing, where he learned the forging
discipline of the noble metals; silver, gold, and bronze.
While forging the noble metals in the context of jewelry, he also
forged most of his hand tools from steel.
- After graduating with his Masters of Fine Art, he
taught classes on design theory for goldsmithing at the School for
American Craftsmen, at the Rochester Institute of
- In 1972, Albert entered
and won a competition to design the entry gates for the Renwick
Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. These
gates were a turning point in Albert’s career, bringing his design
skills to the architectural arena.
- Albert recalls the
beginning of ABANA when Alex Bealer and Brent Kington held one of
the first blacksmithing conferences in Lubbock Texas around
1970. ABANA became an official organization shortly after
- Paley Studios is based
in Rochester, NY and has 16 full-time employees making a variety of
architectural work, independent sculpture, and furniture.
- Corning Inc approached
Albert to do a six-month artist residency program with their
Industrial division, working with scientists on the methodology of
forming glass and metal together for visual esthetics.
Specifically, Albert worked with a type of glass called 7056 which
is compatible with a metal alloy called Kovar. The Kovar alloy is
made up of steel, nickel and cobalt, and expands and contracts with
- Albert will be part of
an International glass conference in San Jose, CA this summer where
Corning will be introducing the 7056 glass with Kovar process and
displaying the finished sculptures.
- “Paley on Park Avenue”
was an installation of 13 sculptures installed along the median of
Park Avenue, New York City in 2013. Albert has sold nine of the
thirteen sculptures to cover the material costs, insurance costs,
and structural engineering costs; there were no stipends provided
for the project. PBS documentary film of the process that is up for
a New York State Emmy Award.
- When asked what
blacksmith he would like to spend a day with he mentions Alejandro
Moscatelli, who has a large, diverse body of forge work and Edwardo
Chillida, who made massive metal sculptures.
Books on Albert Paley and his work:
- Albert Paley on Park
Avenue – 2013 Paley installed 13 sculptures on Park Avenue in
- 26Fe – 2012 – Features Paley’s 12
forged sculptures created during his 2-week residency at the
- Albert Paley in the 21st Century –
2010, Art Critic Carter Ratcliff discusses Paley’s work from the
first ten years of the 21st Century
- Albert Paley Threshold – 2008, all
about his 80 ft high x 40 ft wide x 35 ft deep sculpture
- Albert Paley Portals
and Gates – 2007, this illustrates how Paley’s ideas merge onto
paper then into the developmental stages and on to the finish and
- Albert Paley Sculpture
– 2006, a full spectrum of Albert’s sculptures from the past 30
- Sentinel: The Design,
Fabrication and Installation of the Monumental Sculpture – 2005,
chronicles of one of Paley’s sculptures called the Sentinel.
- The Art of Albert Paley – 1996, an assessment of Paley’s work
from the art critic and historian, Edward Lucie-Smith.
Albert Paley website - http://www.albertpaley.com/
Paley Studios Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/paleystudios?fref=ts
Instagram – paleystudios
Twitter - @paleystudios
An excellent article on Paley’s transition from jewelry to large
scale architectural work: http://thejewelryloupe.com/albert-paley-bodily-ornamentation/
An NPR excerpt on Albert Paley:
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Cape Breton Blacksmiths