Robert Henri was born with the surname Cozad, but took a new identity in 1881 when his father was indicted for manslaughter in Denver. His family fled to the East Coast and Henri enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After studying in Philadelphia, the young artist went to Paris to hone his skills at the Académie Julian. Back in Philadelphia, he met newspaper illustrators John Sloan, William Glackens, George Luks, and Everett Shinn. Henri and his circle eventually moved to New York, where their experience as newspapermen led them to paint gritty, everyday scenes of the city’s working people. When paintings by his younger friends were rejected for the 1907 National Academy show, he organized an exhibition to challenge the academy’s hidebound traditions, calling his rebellious group The Eight.
Luce Artist Biography