American painter and teacher. Born in Cincinnatti; original name Robert Henry Cozad. Trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1886-8 in the tradition of Eakins, then in Paris at the Académie Julian 1888-91 and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts 1891. 1891-5 in Philadelphia, where he became leader of a circle of young artists, Sloan, Glackens, Shinn and Luks. Painted in a high-keyed Impressionist style c.1892-5, then adopted a more sombre, tonal palette and painted cityscapes, landscapes and portraits influenced by early Manet, Velazquez and Hals. Lived in Paris again 1895-7 and 1898-1900, then settled in New York. Very influential as a teacher, especially at the New York School of Art 1902-9 and at his own art school 1909-12. His attempts to win recognition for the more advanced artists led to the exhibition of The Eight in 1908 and the exhibition of the Independent Artists 1910, a forerunner of the Armory Show. His late works were mainly portraits and figure studies of Spaniards, Irish peasants, etc. Died in New York.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.361