Edmund M. Ashe (1867-1941)

Edmund M. Ashe (1867-1941)

Edmund Marion Ashe began his professional career as an illustrator, working for publications such as Scribner’s, Harper’s, Collier’s and Century magazines, before transitioning to become a fine artist and well-respected teacher in New York and Pennsylvania. Born in New York City in 1867, Ashe attended the Metropolitan Museum Art School and the Art Students League, studying at the latter under Charles Vanderhoof and John Stimson. The next several years were spent engaged in illustration work for the periodicals previously mentioned, as well as numerous books, including In Camp with a Tin Soldier by John Hendrick Bangs (1892). 

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Around the turn of the century, Ashe’s personal painting style shifted from the Impressionism of his early years to a bolder, realist approach akin to members of the Ashcan group, including its unofficial leader Robert Henri, whom he befriended while teaching at Chase’s school. During the 1910s, he exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and also participated in the groundbreaking Armory Show in 1913. Inspired to paint the day to day lives of working men, Ashe found a plethora of material after moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1920, where he taught illustration at the Carnegie Institute of Technology before eventually becoming Head of the Department of Painting and Design. The artist also explored the Maryland shoreline and relished sketching among the humble residents of the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia, exhibiting a collection of paintings of mountain men and farmers at New York’s Ferargil Galleries in 1929

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