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Edward Charles Volkert (1871–1935), was an American Impressionist artist best known for his colorful and richly painted impressionist landscapes. His trademark subject was that of cattle and plowmen. His style is noted for its impressionist use of light, applied in small dots of paint, while maintaining an interest in the true forms and colors of his subject matter. He has been referred to as America's cattle painter extraordinaire".[1]

Edward Charles Volkert
EducationCincinnati Art Academy, Art Students League of New York
Known forPainting, Landscape art
StyleAmerican impressionism


Early life and educationEdit

The son of a hat merchant from Alsace, Volkert was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1871. He studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy under Frank Duveneck,[2] whose draftsmanship would influence Volkert. His mature style combined elements of the Barbizon school of painting and impressionism. Academic institutions he attended were Art Students League of New York and Cincinnati Art Academy. He also studied under George de Forest Brush, Henry Siddons Mowbray, and William Merritt Chase.

Career in Ohio and New YorkEdit

Volkert was originally a portraitist, but ceased painting portraits after his marriage ended in divorce.[3] For many years he traveled between Cincinnati and New York City,[4] and most preferred to paint cattle in Ohio farmlands. While living in New York, Volkert was president of the Bronx Art Guild. Other Association and Club Memberships included the American Federation of Arts, the National Academy of Design, National Arts Club, New York Watercolor Society, Paint and Clay Club, Duveneck Society of Cincinnati and the Salmagundi Club.

Later life in ConnecticutEdit

After staying in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as a guest of Florence Griswold, he eventually moved near Old Lyme, CT, in part because of his interest in painting their ever-present oxen, which Volkert described as "twice as good as cows at posing . . . oxen are always ready to stand still, but cows are more inquisitive and when a newcomer appears they forsake their quiet rumination and come over to investigate."[1] When Griswold became the first manager of the Lyme Art Association's gallery, when it opened in 1921, Edward Charles Volkert became the first Secretary. Thereafter, Volkert bought a home there in 1922, and remained in Old Lyme for the rest of his life, where he continued to work at his subject of choice.

Personal lifeEdit

Volkert had two children, including a daughter who died in 1933.[5] After her death, he did not paint again. A Christian Scientist, he died in 1935 from refusing treatment from uremic poisoning.[3]


The Mary Ran Gallery in Cincinnati, OH is compiling a catalogue raisonné of Volkert's work.[3] The Florence Griswold Museum holds a number of his works.[6] His papers are held by the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian[7] Some of his illustrations of fungi are held by the Archives of the New York Botanical Garden in the William Murrill collection.[8] A number of these illustrations were used in Murrill's "Illustrations of Fungi" series, published between 1909 and 1922 in Mycologia, and viewable in the Biodiversity Heritage Library.[9]

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ a b The Cow, Florence Griswold Museum
  2. ^ "Artists of Old Lyme by James Anderson | Articles". InCollect. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Edward Charles Volkert". Mary Ran Gallery. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Ohio Impressionists and Post-Impressionists; essay by James M. Keny". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Ruth Volkert Middleton". FindAGrave. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Artists in the Collection - Florence Griswold Museum". Florence Griswold Museum. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Edward C. Volkert papers, 1890-1951". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  8. ^ "William Alphonso Murrill Records (RG4) Murrill, William A., 1869-1957". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Details - Mycologia. - Biodiversity Heritage Library". Retrieved 9 October 2018.