About Robert Henri

Robert Henri was one of the most influential artists in America in the early 1900s. He was the leader of an urban realist movement known as the Ashcan School of Art and member of the revolutionary group, The Eight. Henri believed in continuous study of art and has inspired generations of artists with his philosophy through the book, “The Art Spirit”.

Before he became Robert Henri the painter, he was Robert Henry Cozad, the “Son of the Gamblin’ Man”. As a young boy, Robert spent time fishing and swimming in the Platte River, riding horses, and writing short stories. He lived in this hotel with his parents and brother; ran up and down the stairs and through the hallway that you will walk through.

Brief Chronology

  • June 24, 1865 – Born in Spence’s Station, Ohio
  • 1868-1872 – Lives in Cozaddale, Ohio, a town founded by John J. Cozad, Robert’s father.
  • 1874-1879 – Attends school in Cincinnati and spends summers in Cozad, Nebraska.
  • 1879 – Moves permanently to Cozad after graduating from Chickering Academy.
  • 1879-1882 – Spends time writing, running his father’s hay business and fishing on the Platte River.
  • 1882 – John J. Cozad shoots a local rancher during an argument and immediately leaves town for fear of his life. The man later dies and Cozad is ultimately acquitted.
  • 1883 – Robert and his mother sell the hotel, business and land in Cozad.
  • 1883-1884 – Robert and his family settle in Atlantic City, New Jersey under assumed names.
  • 1885 – Robert completes his first painting.
  • 1886 – Enrolls at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
  • 1898 – Marries Linda Craige and honeymoons in Paris.
  • 1888-1891 – Attends Académie Julian in Paris and studies under William Adolphe Bouguereau.
  • 1891 – Robert is admitted to École des Beaux-Arts in France.
  • 1892 – Begins teaching at the School of Design for Women in Philadelphia.
  • 1899 – Sells painting, “La Neige” to the Musee National du Luxembourg, Paris.
  • 1900 – Travels to Spain and copies Velazquez paintings in the Prado Museum.
  • 1905 – Linda dies after being ill for some time.
  • 1907 – Robert announces the formation of The Eight.
  • 1908 – Exhibition of The Eight at the Macbeth Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy, Art Institute of Chicago, and seven other cities through June 1909.
  • 1908 – Marries Marjorie Organ.
  • 1909 – Opens the Henri School of Art.
  • 1917 – Serves as an advisor for the new museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • 1923 – The Art Spirit is published.
  • 1925-1928 – Spends summers in Ireland.
  • 1929 – Selected as one of the top three living American artists in a poll by the Arts Council of New York.
  • July 12, 1929 – Dies of cancer at St. Luke’s Hospital, New York City.
  • 1931 – Robert Henri Memorial Exhibition begins at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Henri’s Influence

Robert Henri Portrait
Cozad Family Portraits in the Front Lobby
Hendee Hotel Front
Robert Henri Arts Festival Group image

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Season Hours

Open May – September
Tuesday – Saturday
10 am – 5 pm

Robert Henri Museum & Gallery

218 East 8th Street
P.O. Box 355
Cozad, NE 69130

1 mile north of Interstate 80
Exit 222

Call Us

(308) 784-4154