The work of Edward Henry Potthast bridged many connections in American art, spanning the late 19th and first quarter of the 20th centuries. A founding member of Men Who Paint the Far West, (along with Thomas Moran and Joseph Henry Sharp), Potthast is most known as an Eastern artist, highly regarded for his lively scenes along the Atlantic seaboard.
Born in Cincinnati, Potthast studied art in Europe, primarily in Munich and later in Paris, where he developed his skill as an impressionist. He settled in New York in 1896, and soon became recognized as an award-winning artist exhibiting frequently at the National Academy of Design and Salmagundi Club, and in museum and gallery shows. In 1910, he was one of five artists invited by the Santa Fe Railway to make a painting excursion to the Grand Canyon. This experience opened an additional path for the artist, as a painter of the American West, once those paintings gained exposure in traveling exhibits. Potthast added to his western subjects by making another trip, which took him from Arizona to the Canadian Rockies.
Today, Potthast’s works are held in collections across the United States, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Cincinnati Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.