Gregory Orloff

American, 1890 - 1981

The Park Bench, ca. 1927
Graphite on paper
6 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches (framed 15 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches)

Provenance: Estate of the artist.


Known for his exquisite portraits of beautiful women and impressive views of urban life during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Gregory Orloff’s formidable talent and brash personality must have made him a memorable figure on Chicago’s art scene of the 1920s, '30s and '40s. The professional dancers Orloff painted were his friends and occasionally lovers; a fact not lost on his wife, who, it was reported in newspapers of the day, took him to court over his affairs.

Orloff came from Kiev, Russia to Chicago via New York, where he attended the National Academy of Design. At the Art Institute of Chicago Orloff was a student of Karl Buehr. A well-traveled and highly social man, he was a member of the Society of Independent Artists, the Chicago Society of Artists, the Woodstock Art Association and the South Side Art Association. His work was shown at the Art Institute of Chicago every year between 1925 and 1935 and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Annual of 1929.

Gregory Orloff’s paintings have been exhibited at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Illinois State Museum, Springfield; the Delphic Studios Exhibition, New York; the New Jersey State Museum Exhibition, Trenton; the Riverside Museum Exhibition, New York and the Terra Museum of Art, Chicago, among others. Orloff’s work is represented in the permanent collection of the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL.

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