|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 12, 1841, Edward Lamson Henry, with a bent for nostalgia, became a noted painted of super-realistic genre scenes of early 19th century rural America. With minute detail, these works are now considered old fashioned, but they reflected the love of collecting old things that was stimulated by the 1875 Philadelphia Exposition. He also did portraits, and his series of railroad scenes are particularly notable. |
As a child, Henry was orphaned and brought at age seven to New York City where he was raised by relatives. He showed early art talent and began study at age 14 with Walter Oddie. In 1858, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy and then studied in Paris from 1860 to 1862 with Gustave Courbet and Charles Gleyre and traveled in Italy. However, he adopted none of Courbet's dramatic painting style.
Fully trained as an artist, Henry returned to the United States in 1863, and served in the Civil War in the Quartermaster General's Department. He recorded many war scenes on the James and Potomac Rivers, and this experience influenced his work in that he continued to depict transportation throughout his career. He also did battle sketches with the Union Army in Virginia.
In 1871, he returned to Europe, and then made another trip there in 1875 after his marriage. Henry was one of the founders of the New York Cragsmoor Art Colony, near Ellenville, where he and his wife built a home in the 1880s. He did sentimental paintings at Cragsmoor that reflected beauty rather than harsh conditions of the people or the rugged landscape.
Edward Henry exhibited at the National Academy of Design for sixty years. Many of his works are owned by the New York State Department of Education.
He died at Cragsmoor on May 11, 1919.
American Art Review
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art
|Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:|
|EDWARD LAMSON HENRY (1841-1919)|
Revered for his detailed, nostalgic genre scenes of nineteenth century American life, Edward Lamson Henry was born in Charleston, South Carolina, but moved to New York City as a young boy. His artistic talent was recognized early on and he received private lessons from his cousin Samuel P. Avery, an engraver, art dealer, and founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; from Robert Walter Weir, the drawing master at West Point; and from Thomas Prichard Rossiter. Henry enrolled for three years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later continued his education in the art academies of Europe, including study with Charles Gleyre and Gustave Courbet.
Henry first showed at the National Academy of Design in 1859 and, with the exception of one year, would exhibit there annually for the next sixty years. He served briefly as a clerk in the Union forces during the Civil War, followed by a period of European travel. Returning to New York in 1872, Henry determined that distinctly American subjects would occupy his brush for the remainder of his career. African Americans appear in many of Henry's paintings from an early date. He is known to have traveled South in 1887 and to have painted several works using only black models. The artist often used photography as an aid to his easel painting.
A founder of the Cragsmoor art colony, Henry enjoyed financial success during his lifetime. His palette and subject matter remained consistent and popular from the 1880s on and he was regarded by at least one contemporary critic as the "Meissonier of America."
This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.
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Edward Henry is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Civil War Art
Paris Pre 1900