American, 1865–1929


Robert Henri was a painter, watercolorist, pastellist, and draughtsman. He began his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia in 1866 and took classes with Thomas Anschutz and Thomas Hovenden. He continued his training in Paris in 1888, with William Bouguereau and Robert-Feury at the Acadèmie Julian and at the École des Beaux Arts in 1891. He spent time in Brittany and Barbizon during his summers and spent time in Italy before going back to the US in 1892. Once back, he studied under Robert Vonnoh.

In 1895 Robert Henri returned to Europe and became influenced by Manet. Then he resided in Philadelphia, and after that in Manhattan, New York. Manhattan embodied the urban theme that his work was going to take on even as he was travelling frequently in Europe. He taught at the Art Students League, New York, and then at his own institution, Henri School. Students of Henri’s include Patrick Henry Bruce and Morgan Russell, who had worked under Matisse, as well as Edward Hopper, Man Ray and Stuart Davis. Henri exhibited portraits at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1896 and 1897.

In America, the pieces of some of  Robert Henri’s friends were rejected in 1908 by a panel. Because of that, they founded a group called The Eight, which was centered around Henri. The group exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery, New York, where critics called them the Ashcan School. This was the starting point for a realist school which depicted urban and industrial life in everyday America, and which contributed heavily to the appearance of American modernist realism.

During his first stay in Paris Henri was drawn to the Impressionists’ habit of working out in the open and their weightless, colorful paintings. He accepted both of these aspects for his beach scenes, painted in Concarneau. When he returned a second time he was a diligent visitor of the Louvre and became an aficionado of Hals, Velázquez and Manet and developed a style of painting that was quick, oily and heavy, and which used strong contrasts and manipulated light. He wanted to relate his art to ordinary people and their everyday lives. With the Ashcan School, Henri explored and started a non-academic style of painting, specific to America. He was involved in establishing many independent exhibitions, most notably the Armory Show in 1913. Following his death his work was exhibited in many retrospectives, which included My People: the Portraits of Robert Henri at the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida. In addition, he was represented in group shows, for example Lasting Impressions: American Painters in France 1865–1915 at the Musée d’Art Américain de Giverny-Terra Foundation for the Arts, Giverny, in 1992, The Allure of the Maine Coast: Robert Henri and his Circle at the Portland Museum of Art, in Oregon in 1996 and L’Impressionnisme américain 1880–1915 (American Impressionism 1880–1915) at the Foundation de L’Hermitage, Lusanne in 2002.

Museum Collections:
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH
Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, MO
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
Arkell Art Museum, Ontario
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ball State Museum of Art, Muncie, IN
Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, IL
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Colby College Museum of Art
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK
Cummer Art Museum, Jacksonville, FL
Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC
Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington, D.C.
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Maier Museum of Art, Lynchburg, VA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS
Morse Museum of Art, Winter Park, FL
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL
National Academy of Design Museum, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, London
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT
New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln NE
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Spartanburg County Museum of Art, Spartanburg, SC
Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS
Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH
Stark Museum of Art, Orange, TX
Tate Gallery, London
Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, IL
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Mark Murray Fine Paintings is a New York gallery specializing in buying and selling 19th century and early 20th century artwork. 

Please contact us if you are interested in selling your Robert Henri paintings or other artwork from the 19th century and early 20th century.