Edward Henry Potthast

Edward Henry Potthast


Nationality: American

Birth Place: Cincinnati (Hamilton county, Ohio, United States)

Beloved by audiences from the nineteenth century through the present for his vibrant, sunlit depictions of carefree beachgoers enjoying leisurely holidays on the coast, Edward Potthast is considered one of the most prominent of the American Impressionists. Born in Cincinnati, which was at the time a burgeoning art center and a hub for German immigrants including his own family, Potthast relocated to New York in 1892 and began spending his summers frequenting various seaside art colonies including Gloucester, Rockport and Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and Ogunquit and Monhegan Island in Maine. He was so captivated by the coast that while living in Manhattan he would regularly journey to the city's crowded beach resorts of Coney Island or Brighton Beach with his easel, panels, and paint box.

Potthast began his artistic studies at the McMicken School of Design and at the Cincinnati Academy. The young artist made his first trip to Europe in 1881, where he traveled to Antwerp and then to Munich, whose Royal Academy had long been a draw for Cincinnati artists. Upon returning to his native city in 1885, Potthast became established as a lithographer and illustrator while resuming his art studies. His paintings of this period reflect the influence of the Munich School, steeped in the venerated tradition of Dutch Old Master painting.

In 1886, Potthast again departed for Paris, where he became well acquainted with the light-filled, expressive canvasses being produced by both French and American expatriate Impressionists. It was at this time that the Impressionists' techniques and aesthetic began to dominate Potthast's work. The artist returned to Cincinnati with several luminous canvases. After moving to New York in 1892, Potthast embraced American leisure activity as his central subject, specializing in beach scenes and rocky harbor views painted in a high-keyed palette and bathed in warm summer light.

The paintings of Edward Henry Potthast are represented in public collections across the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Art Institute of Chicago; Cincinnati Art Museum; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.


Edward Henry Potthast Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American, 1857-1927) Children at the Shore Oil on canvas 24 x 30 inches (61.0 x 76.2 cm) Sign
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American, 1857-1927)Children at the ShoreOil on canvas24 x 30 inches (61.0 x 76.2 cm)Sign...
Lot 73034
Auction 5118
Thursday, November 15, 2012
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American 1857-1927) Lawn Tennis, St. Ives circa 1885-1890 Oil on panel 5-5/8 x 9-1/16 inches (
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American 1857-1927)Lawn Tennis, St. Ives circa 1885-1890Oil on panel5-5/8 x 9-1/16 inches (...
Lot 23062
Auction 652
Friday, May 25, 2007
Attributed to EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American 1857 - 1927) Coastal Scene, circa 1915 Oil on panel 6-1/8 x 8in.  PRO
Attributed to EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American 1857 - 1927)Coastal Scene, circa 1915Oil on panel6-1/8 x 8in.PRO...
Lot 24026
Auction 638
Friday, November 10, 2006
Edward Potthast (American, 1857-1927) Stargazer Inkwash and charcoal on paper 17-1/2 x 12 inches (44.5 x 30.5 cm) (sh
Edward Potthast (American, 1857-1927)StargazerInkwash and charcoal on paper17-1/2 x 12 inches (44.5 x 30.5 cm) (sh...
Lot 65224
Auction 5260
Monday, June 27, 2016
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American, 1857-1927) A Young Boy (Seated Boy), circa 1890 Oil on canvas 36 x 28-3/4 inches (91
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American, 1857-1927)A Young Boy (Seated Boy), circa 1890Oil on canvas36 x 28-3/4 inches (91...
Lot 70205
Auction 5174
Saturday, May 10, 2014

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