Title: Portrait of Carl Sprinchorn
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image: 24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm)
Gift of Anna Sprinchorn Johnson
Born in Cincinnati, Robert Henri studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the tradition of Thomas Eakins. He subsequently studied in Paris with Bouguereau, but his academic training eventually gave way to Impressionism. This too he abandoned for the darker tones and more painterly approach of artists like Velasquez, Manet, and especially Frans Hals. In 1907, he organized an exhibition in response to what he felt was the National Academy's inadequate representation of the art scene, becoming the outspoken leader of "The Eight" (so named from the eight artists in that exhibition: Arthur B. Davies, Ernest Lawson, Maurice Prendergast, George Luks, William Glackens, John Sloan, Everett Shinn, and himself), later sometimes called the "Ashcan School." His active and dynamic style of painting influenced the many students he taught at the New York School of Art (1903Ð1909) and at his own Henri School of Art (1909-1912), including George Bellows, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Paul Manship, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Carl Sprinchorn, a portrait of a fellow artist, presents the viewer with the same concerns Henri taught his students: to focus on technique alone (as the Academy taught) was to "drain the life out of any ideas to which it is applied"; artists should "avoid dwelling on details" in order to capture the life, spirit, and essence of the subject depicted. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.