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In the faces of children I have seen a look of wisdom and of kindness expressed with such ease and such certainty that I know it was the expression of the whole race.
~ Robert Henri

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Robert Henri (1865-1929) American artist and teacher who studied under
Thomas Anshutz at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. He was one of
the Ashcan school of eight New York Artists. Born in Cincinnatti, his family
moved throughout the Midwest before settling in Atlantic City. He studied
at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and then in Paris

at the Academie Julian. He changed his name from Robert Henry Cozad
after his father killed someone. He wrote, "All art that is worthwhile is a
record of intense life, and each individual artist's work is a record of his
special effort, search and findings."

The rapid expansion of the use of the automobile, trolleys and railroad was
not matched with changes for pedestrian safety. On May Day of 1926, a
memorial was held in New York City commemorating "No Accident Day" for
children. Two monuments were unveiled as a crowd silently honored the
memory of some 7000 boys and girls who had been killed in traffic accidents
the previous year. This may have marked a change to more organized ways
of protecting children. For twenty or so years before this event when a
child was killed on the street angry mobs would form and often attack the
drivers. In 1903, for instance, when 5 year old Mary Minor was struck dead
by the Third Avenue electric car, a crowd of 3000 people formed and the
motorman barely escaped with his life. The girl's father, "frenzied with
grief," the newspapers reported, was stopped in a frantic attempt on the
motorman's life.

An Imaginative Boy was completed in 1922.


Self-Portrait when 38