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Identifier: WH21

Scope and Contents

The collection contains assorted awards, biographical information, clippings, professional correspondence, and exhibition catalogs that document Bancroft's artistic career as well as his associations with the Denver Artists Guild and Denver Art Museum. A written history and photographs of Alpha Bancroft and the couple's Redcliff Cabin, located near Estabrook, Colorado are included.


The series contains assorted correspondence, exhibition catalogs, awards, and biographical materials documenting Bancroft's career as an artist from 1910 until his death in 1972. Materials specifically related to his involvement with the Denver Art Museum and Denver Artists Guild form a portion of the series.

Additional materials document the acquisition, and history behind the family cabin/land (later Alpha and Albert Bancroft residence): Redcliff Cabin, located near Eastabrook, Colorado.


The series contains a portrait of Albert S. Bancroft (n.d.) as well as a snapshot of him with R. Hunter Wickersham (ca.1915), 11 color photographs (snapshots) of the Alpha and Albert Bancroft residence, Redcliff Cabin, near Estabrook, Colorado. The images capture interior and exterior views, Alpha Bancroft alone and with unidentified friends (1979).


  • 1910-1979

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

The artist, Albert Stokes Bancroft was born at 1615 Race Street, Denver, Colorado on May 15, 1890, the son of Rosa G. (b.1866; Kansas) and Frank N. Bancroft (b.1865; Massachusetts- d.1950; Colorado), an attorney and trust officer of the Colorado National Bank. Albert Bancroft attended Wyman Grade School and graduated from East High School before earning a law degree from Cornell University (L.L.B. 1910). At Cornell he was a member of the editorial staff of the student publication: The Cornell Widow. Bancroft returned to Denver after graduation and started practicing law in an office next to his father's in the A.C. Foster Building at 16th and Champa.

In 1914, Albert Bancroft abruptly closed his law practice and moved to his family's cabin south of Bailey located on the trail to Lost Park near the town of Estabrook, Colorado. Acquired by Frank Bancroft in 1909, the cabin, known as Redcliff Cabin, was built in 1900 by Will Mendenhall for Louise McClellan of Briarcliff Manor, New York. In the past, the Bancroft family spent a part of each summer near Estabrook and it was during these vacations that Albert Bancroft developed an appreciation for the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and the mountains and forests of Colorado. During 1914, Bancroft worked as a local school teacher and also felt inspired to paint what he saw and experienced each day and set out to establish himself as a self-taught artist of Colorado scenery. On June 13, 1919, Albert Bancroft married the painter Alpha Appeman (December 13, 1898-March 1984) of Shawnee, Colorado. In 1919, the couple made Redcliff Cabin their permanent residence. The couple would continue to reside and work at the cabin until their respective deaths.

Bancroft sold his first piece of artwork in 1918 and through the ensuing decade (1920s) developed a career as a painter of Colorado mountain scenery. His early exhibitions were held in his parent's living room at 2386 Dexter Street, where his mother, Rosa, acted as his representative. He became nationally known in May 1929, when his painting: "Untamed and Unconquered" (a.k.a. "Lindbergh Peak") depicting a high peak located south of Grand Lake, Colorado was purchased by Colorado school children as a wedding present for the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and his wife Anne S. Morrow. Bancroft subsequently contributed artwork to local exhibitions sponsored by the Denver Art Museum, Denver Artists Guild and through the Kendrick-Bellamy Company on 16th Street. Nationally he participated in exhibitions held in New York City for the National Exhibition of American Arts, at the Kansas City Art Institute, Milwaukee Art Institute, and at exhibitions held in Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, and in other cities around the country.

He was one of the founders of the Denver Artists Guild (1928), serving as the Guild's President for three terms (1935-1937). In addition, he was active for many years as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Denver Art Museum (1940s) and as a member of the Cactus Club. Bancroft was also an early proponent of skiing in Colorado when he brought a pair of skis home with him from Cornell. He continued to paint until his death on February 29, 1972 in Estabrook, Colorado. His wife, Alpha Bancroft continued to live at Redcliff Cabin until her death in March 1984.


1 box(es) ; .5 linear feet

1 photo envelope

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donation, Alpha Bancroft, 1980.


The DPL Western Art Collection has four paintings by the Albert S. Bancroft including:

[Rolling Hills], n.d.: C08-1 ART

[Mountain Lake], n.d.: C90-7 ART

Rolling Creek, n.d.: C69-4 ART

Frozen Pond, 1918: C80-4 ART


Martin Leuthauser

June 2011


Ellen Zazzarino

May 2011
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States