Born in Petersburg, Virginia in 1867, Myers became an important painter of urban realism, starting with a series of images of ghetto life in 1887, the year he began studying at the Cooper Union. One of his earliest works is Backyard from that year, in a private collection, which already shows a raw, unidealized view of New York City. Thus he actually anticipated the productions of the Ash Can School. Myers continued his studies at the Art Students League where his teacher was George de Forest Brush, the academic painter of idealized Native Americans. Brush's classicism did not rub off on Myers, who had no patience for careful drawing - he was even disturbed by the presence of a studio model, so he completed a ser
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