Gift of the Parents of Alexandra Rupp, Class of 2012
The American painter and highly influential teacher Robert Henri is best known as founder of “The Eight,” a group of artists who protested the conservative stylistic restrictions levied by the powerful National Academy of Design. He advocated for realism and encouraged his fellow artists to offer an unidealized representation of their own time and urban experience. Sketching friends and family as well as models was an important part of Henri’s quest to lay bare what was meaningful to the modern viewer and discard art-historical conventions. If his was a commitment to realism, it was to the personal truth of the exploratory pencil line: “Lines give birth to lines. Drawing is not following a line on the model, it is drawing your sense of the thing.”
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