John Joseph Enneking (10/04/1841-11/16/1916) was born in Minister, Ohio. In 1856, following the death of his parents, he moved to Cincinnati. He entered St. Mary's College in 1858 where the College President encouraged him to draw. In 1861 Enneking left college to join the Union Army where he was injured in the line of duty. In 1864 he moved to New York, and later to Boston where he studied lithography. He married in October of 1864. In 1865 Enneking began manufacturing tinware, but his business collapsed after several years. Enneking traveled to Europe with his family, and spent six months studying at the Munich Royal Academy with Lehr during 1872. The next year he left for Paris to meet Leon Joseph Bonnat. He spent three years in Bonnat's studio, and also studied with Daubigny. Enneking returned to Boston in 1876, very much a product of the pre-impressionist and impressionist movements of his contemporaries. He was particularly inspired by Edourd Manet, his close acquaintance. Enneking also spent a great deal of time in Holland studying the old masters, an influence readily apparent in his work. Incorporating all of these traditions, he developed a highly original, recognizable, polished style.
A large exhibition and auction of Enneking's works at William and Everett's Gallery in 1878 established Enneking's reputation as a master of landscape painting. He had a group show in 1883 with Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and Theodore Robinson. In 1893 he held another solo exhibition that included eighty-one of his paintings, many of which were completed in the Netherlands and France. Enneking was invited to join the Ten American Painters' Group that was founded by Childe Hassam, but declined the offer. Enneking toured Europe again in 1903, financing the journey through an auction of 150 of his paintings. He served as the chairperson of the Advisory Committee and Jury for the Chicago World's Fair Art Department representing the New England States in 1905.
Enneking won many awards during his career including the gold medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. His work has been exhibited widely in Paris, Boston , and New York. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts (MA), the Columbus Museum of Art (OH), and the El Paso Museum of Art (TX). Enneking was perhaps New England's foremost landscape painter when he died of pneumonia at the age of 75. He was declared "one of the healthiest and most inspiring influences in the American art world..."