Portrait of Miss Edith Reynolds by Robert Henri
American, 1865 - 1929
oil on canvas, 1908
Gift of Mr. Francis L. McLean, 64.13

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Robert Henri was a skilled artist who studied at the Philadelphia School of Fine Arts in 1886, and then later at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1891, he returned to the United States, coming to Philadelphia to teach at the Women’s School of Design.

A strong advocate for realism, Henri became the leader of the Ashcan School, a movement in art that became best known for works capturing scenes of daily life in poor urban neighborhoods. He was also a member of the Eight, the artists associated with the Ashcan school and who exhibited at the groundbreaking show at the Macbeth Gallery in February 1908.

Henri was also a progressive and influential teacher of art, with a large following of students, including Edith Reynolds. The heiress of a wealthy and prominent family in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Reynolds went to New York City to study art.