Edward Redfield was born in Delaware but moved to Philadelphia when he was quite young. His first painting publicly displayed was a picture of a cow; it was exhibited in the school children's art section at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. Redfield attended art classes at the Spring Garden Institute and also studied with Henry Rolfe, a commercial artist who taught him to complete oil and charcoal studies within an hour, a modus operandi that Redfield employed throughout his career. He was accepted as a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
, Philadelphia, where his teachers included Thomas Anschutz, Thomas Hovenden, and James P. Kelly. He exhibited in the 1888 Annual Exhibition at the Academy, continued to show there often, and was given one-man shows there in 1899 and 1909.
In the autumn of 1889 he went to Paris where he studied with William Bouguereau, and Tony Robert‑Fleury at the Academie Julian. He had intended to become a portrait painter but soon became fascinated by the landscapes he did during his holidays in France which were often spent painting with his friend, Robert Henri. When he returned to the United States he lived in Center Bridge, Pennsylvania, where he worked for the rest of his life. He and his French wife, Elise, made trips to France and often spent summers in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Edward Redfield became a very successful landscape painter and was the central figure in the New Hope School of American Impressionist painters. He continued to paint until he was about seventy-five when he decided he was unable to stay outdoors in all weather for the long periods of time needed to complete a canvas in one sitting. After he stopped painting he destroyed almost two thousand paintings which he considered substandard. Redfield was awarded many honors during his long career. In addition to his one-man shows at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts he was given shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art
, Washington, D.C., the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery
, New York, the Woodmere Art Museum
, Philadelphia, Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, and the William Penn Memorial Museum, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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