Seated Nude on Red Blanket
Robert Henri (1865-1929) was born in Cozad, Nebraska. After his father, John Cozad, killed a drunken cattleman in a fight, the family was forced to leave Nebraska and adopt new names. After three years in Europe, Henri returned to Philadelphia in 1891. There, as a teacher, he began to influence a number of younger artists including John Sloan. After 1900 Henri settled in New York City, where he and his friends organized as The Eight, also known as the Ashcan School. Although these artists exhibited as a group only once, their quest for artistic independence paved the way for artists seeking to work outside the constraint of the National Academy of Design. Henri was an immensely significant force behind the change from 19-century academicism to 20-century self-expression.