Monday 22 October 2012

Ashcan School – Robert Henri part 1

Continuing the intermittent theme on the New York "Ashcan School" (see Introduction 4 Oct 2012 and William Glackens 6 Oct - 14 Oct), the next artist I'm featuring is Robert Henri.

Robert Henri (1865 – 1929) was born Robert Henry Cozad in Cincinnati in 1865, the son of a professional gambler and businessman. In 1881 he accompanied his family to Denver. When his father was indicted for manslaughter a year later the Cozads changed their name and fled to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

In 1886 Henri enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied under Thomas Anshutz, Thomas Hovenden, and James B. Kelly. In 1888 he went to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Julian under Adolphe-William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury. During the summers he painted in Brittany and Barbizon, and visited Italy prior to being admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1891. He returned to Philadelphia later that year, and in 1892 resumed studying at the academy. He also began his long and influential career as an art teacher at the School of Design for Women, where he taught until 1895.

During this period he met the young newspaper illustrators who would later achieve fame as members of The Eight: John Sloan, William Glackens, George Luks, and Everett Shinn. He made regular trips to Paris where he was particularly influenced by Edouard Manet, Frans Hals, and Diego Velázquez. In 1899, one year after his marriage to Linda Craige, one of his paintings was purchased for the Musée National du Luxembourg.

In 1900 Henri settled in New York and taught at the New York School of Art from 1902 to 1908. He gradually began to reject the genteel traditions of academic painting and impressionism, and turned his attention to urban realist subjects executed in a bold, painterly style. In 1906 he was elected to the National Academy of Design, and that summer he taught in Spain.

When the academy refused to exhibit works by Henri's circle in its 1907 annual show, he resolved to organize an independent exhibition. The result was the famous show of The Eight held at the Macbeth Gallery in February 1908. That year he married his second wife, the illustrator Marjorie Organ. In 1910 he organized the first "Exhibition of Independent Artists," between 1911 and 1919 he arranged jury-free exhibitions at the MacDowell Club, and in 1913 he helped the Association of American Painters and Sculptors organize the Armory Show. Henri's influence began to wane after the ascent of European modernism, although he continued to win numerous awards. He taught at the Art Students League from 1915 until 1927.

Although Henri was an important portraitist and figure painter, he is best remembered as a progressive and influential teacher. His ideas on art were collected by former pupil Margery Ryerson and published as The Art Spirit (Philadelphia, 1923). He died in 1929 at the age of sixty-four.

This is part 1 of 6-part post on the works of Robert Henri:

c1890-1900 Party Scene 
ink on paper 20 x 20.6 cm

c1890 In the Woods 
oil on canvas 26.7 x 36.4 cm

1891 Early Morning, Venice 
oil on canvas 27 x 40 cm

1892 Café du Dome 
oil on canvas 66 x 81 cm

1893 Sunlight, Girl on Beach, Avalon 
oil on canvas 46.7 x 61.6 cm

c1893-95 Street Corner 
oil on canvas 33 x 41.3 cm

1894 Strawberry Mansion 
pencil on paper 28.8 x 20 cm

c1895-7 "Placein Paris 
oil on panel 26 x 33 cm

c1895-99 Café Bleu, St. Cloud 
oil on panel 8.6 x 14.9 cm

c1895-99 Café by Night with Japanese Lanterns 
oil on panel 12.1 x 14.6 cm

1896 A Garden Path 
oil on canvas 40.9 x 32.8 cm

1896 At Joinville 
oil on canvas 66 x 78.7 cm

1896 Street Corner in Paris 
oil on panel 11.4 x 17.1 cm

1898 Irish Boy 
oil on canvas 61 x 50.8 cm

1898 Montparnasse 
oil on canvas 46 x 61 cm

1898 Woman in Manteau 
oil on canvas 147.5 x 98.3 cm

1899 Au Jardin du Luxembourg 
oil on canvas 81 x 65 cm

1899 Fete du Dieu, Concarneau 
oil on canvas 64 x 81 cm

1899 Normandy Interior 
oil on canvas 64.8 x 81.2 cm

c1899 Seated Nude 
sepia ink and watercolour on paper 43.2 x 29.2 cm

c1899 Sidewalk Café 
oil on canvas 81.6 x 65.7 cm

1900 East River Embankment, Winter 
oil on canvas 65.3 x 81.4 cm

1900-02 On the East River 
oil on canvas 65.4 x 81.6 cm

1901-2 Cumulus Clouds, East River 
oil on canvas 65 x 81 cm

1902 Derricks on the North River

1902 Pequot Light House, Connecticut Coast 
oil on canvas 65 x 81 cm

1902 Portrait of George Luks 
oil on canvas 80.9 x 66 cm

1902 Portrait of Miss Leora Dryer in Riding Costume 
oil on canvas 195.6 x 90.2 cm

1902 Snow in New York 
oil on canvas 81 x 66 cm

1902 Storm Weather - Wyoming Valley 
oil on canvas 66 x 81.3 cm

1902 Street Scene with Snow 
oil on canvas 66 x 81 cm

1902 Summer Storm 
oil on panel 8 x 10 cm

1902 The March Wind 
oil canvas 66 x 81.9 cm

1902 The Rain Clouds ( Paris ) 
oil on canvas 66 x 81.9 cm

1902 The Rainbow, Normandie 
oil on canvas 65.4 x 81.3 cm

c1902 At Far Rockaway 
oil on canvas 66 x 81 cm

1903 Leunkin Bay, June 
oil on canvas 20.3 x 25.4 cm

1903 Monhegan Island 
oil on panel 20.3 x 25.4 cm

1903 Rough Seas near Lobster Point 
oil on panel 20.3 x 25.4 cm

1903 Study for Storm Tide 
oil on board 20.3 x 25.4 cm

1903 Storm Tide 
oil on canvas 66 x 81.3 cm

1904 George Luks 
oil on canvas 194.3 x 97.2 cm


  1. An impressive collection of images - thank you for the whole series on Robert Henri.

  2. Thank you. I'm a big fan of his work.

  3. I'd heard a lot about Robert Henri from my son, but this is the first time I have seen his works. A wonderful set.


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