Robert Henry was a son to Theresa Gatewood and John Jackson Cozad, born on June 24, 1865, in Cincinnati. He lived with his parents, his brother Johnny and his cousin Mary Cassatt. In 1873, his family moved to Nebraska where his father founded the city of Cozad. They lived peacefully in Cozad until his father disagreed with one Alfred Pearson, and shot him. When he finally got bailed the whole town turned against him, he fled to Denver together with his family and got new identities. His father changed to Richard Henry Lee, Johnny to Frank Southern and Robert Henry Cozad, to the commonly known Robert Earl Henri.
He had an interest in art and enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia where he was tutored by Thomas Anshutz. He went to Paris in 1888, into Academie de Julian and later to Ecole des Beaux- Arts up to 1891.
After completing from Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he began teaching the Philadelphia School of Design for Women where he was appreciated for his sharp wits and a passion for art. He became popular among emerging artists in Philadelphia some other being illustrators of the Philadelphia newspaper such as William Glackens, George Luks, John Sloan and Everett Shin who later formed the Philadelphia four which would after some time be joined by four others changing its name to Philadelphia eight. After the year 1895, he shifted focus from Impressionism to Realism drawing his inspiration from Hals and Velaquez.
In 1898, he got married to Linda Craige, who was his student. They spent two years in France, a period during which the French government bought his painting “the snow” which was exhibited in Musee du Luxembourg. He later moved to New York to continue with teaching, in the New York school of art, some of his students being Rowell Kent, Stuart Davis, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi.
His wife died later in 1905 after having some health issues for quite a while, later the following year, he was elected to the National Academy of Design. He resolved to have his own art show after the painters in his circle were not allowed to give their exhibition in the year 1907 by the National Academy jurors.
In 1910, he had hosted the Exhibition of Independent Artists making it be a non-competitive type of show. He taught at the Art Students League of New York as from 1915 to 1927, being such an influential teacher to his students.
He continued as a teacher throughout his life until his death in 1929 after succumbing to cancer.
The blue Kimono, done in 1909, found at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The dancer did in 1910.
Team Gan did in 1914, work found in Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
The portrait of Carl Gustav, 1896 at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Visit our Robert Henri Reproductions Gallery.