Spotlight on the Collection: Henry Botkin

Nov 09, 2018 — May 04, 2019

Henry Botkin (1896–1983) was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He studied art at the Massachusetts College of Art before moving to New York to continue his studies at the Art Students League. While in New York, he worked as an illustrator for Harper’s, The Saturday Evening Post, and Century magazines suggesting his talent for representational imagery was quite advanced. In the early 1920s, the artist left New York for an extended stay in Paris which was supported by his cousins George and Ira Gershwin. In 1926, the artist built a studio and remained in Paris until 1930. He also made regular trips to the south of France, especially Saint-Tropez, where he captured the daily life of residents and the French countryside.

A large part of Botkin’s estate was donated to the University Art Museum in 1981 and it remains one of the largest repositories of Botkin’s work to date. Botkin’s experience characterizes that of so many American artists who traveled to Europe in the early 20th century and returned with new philosophical and aesthetic ideals about art. Through his work, we are able to witness the evolution of American Modernism as it moved from its European roots to become an important foundation to 20th century American art.

Intro Image taken by Abraham Lurie Waintrob (1908–2004).

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