A painter most remembered most for his beach scenes of carefree atmosphere, Edward Potthast was one of the numerous significant 19th-century American artists from Cincinnati, which at the time of his birth was a burgeoning art center and a place of refuge for German immigrants including the Potthast family.
Potthast's first visited the Grand Canyon in 1910 in the company of Thomas Moran and Elliott Daingerfield, invited by the Santa Fe Railroad to create images that would promote travel to the American Southwest. The group spent ten days painting on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, the first of many trips there by Potthast. He was taken in with the vast vistas, and applied his impressionistic approach to Grand Canyon. The thickly applied paint reminds one of the artist's celebrated scenes of beach goers, but is here applied to a sublime moment of light and majesty.
Potthast first studied at the McMicken School of Design and at the Cincinnati Academy, and then went to Europe briefly before becoming established in his native city as a lithographer and illustrator.
His studio was primarily in New York City, but in 1912, he spent extensive time in Europe where he enrolled in Academies in Munich, Antwerp and Paris. He divided his time between illustrations for Harper's" andScribner's magazines but later gave up illustration for full time fine art.
Potthast was an exceedingly private person who died at his easel.
Docent archives, Phoenix Art Museum, Paper by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier
Visions & Visionaries: The Art and Artists of the Santa Fe Railway, Sandra D'Emiio and Suzan Campbell