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Robert Henri

June 24, 1865 - July 12, 1929


Robert Henri (born Robert Henry Cozad) was an American painter who was affiliated with the impressionist movement. He established a landmark show in 1908 that was entitled “The Eight” (after the eight painters displaying their works) at the Macbeth Gallery in New York. The painters became affiliated with a group known as the Ashan School, an important player in the impressionist movement. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Theresa and John Cozad, his family soon relocated to Nebraska where they established the town of Cozad. In 1882 his father became involved in a dispute with a local rancher that escalated to physical violence. Despite eventually being cleared of charges, the town turned against the family and they were forced to move to Denver, Colorado where Robert adopted the name Robert Earl Henri. Robert Henri eventually enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he studied under Thomas Anshutz. In 1888 he traveled to paris to further his education at the Académie Julian where he embraced the impressionist movement with enthusiasm. He was eventually admitted into the École des Beaux Arts and continued his studies there. In 1891 he returned to the United States and began teaching at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. While working in Philadelphia he attracted a group of followers who would meet at his studio to discuss art, culture, and social philosophy. This group became known as the Charcoal Club. By 1895, Robert Henri had come to view impressionism as a “new academicism” and began to reconsider its virtues. Later in life Henri divided his time between Philadelphia and Paris. His more mature style came to be characterized by smaller and more spontaneous depictions of urban scenes. In 1898 he married his former student Linda Craige who served as the inspiration for pieces of his such as 1914’s Portrait of Mrs. Robert Henri.

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