Urban Realism and the American Scene

Robert Henri (1865–1929)
Sylvester, 1914
Oil on canvas, 32 x 26 in. (81.2 x 66 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2017.2

Object-Robert Henri, Sylvester

Sylvester belongs to a group of portraits Robert Henri made in La Jolla, California, during the summer of 1914, following his participation in the groundbreaking 1913 Armory Show in New York. In California, he painted portraits of Native Americans, Mexican and Chinese immigrant children, and a local African American newsboy named Sylvester Cunningham Smith, whom the artist considered an “irresistible” subject. Here, the boy—dressed in a white patterned shirt and knickerbockers held up by suspenders—sits erect, gazing directly at the viewer. As in his most daring La Jolla portraits, Henri depicted Sylvester before a brightly colored, abstract background that focuses attention on the sitter’s nuanced expression. He painted few portraits of African Americans during his long career, but in 1914 he produced three of Sylvester. The Terra Foundation’s version is representative of Henri’s best work in child portraiture, a major part of his oeuvre from about 1900 until his death in 1929.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.


Robert Henri (1865–1929)
Sylvester, 1914
Oil on canvas, 32 x 26 in. (81.2 x 66 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2017.2

Urban Realism and the American Scene

William Glackens (1870–1938)
Bal Bullier, c. 1895
Oil on canvas, 23 13/16 x 32 in. (60.5 x 81.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.59
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858–1924)
The Grand Canal, Venice, c. 1898–99
Watercolor and graphite on paper, 18 1/8 x 14 1/4 in. (46.0 x 36.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.123
Everett Shinn (1876–1953)
Theater Scene, 1903
Oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 15 1/2 in. (32.4 x 39.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.136
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858–1924)
Salem Willows, 1904
Oil on canvas, 26 1/4 x 34 1/4 in. (66.7 x 87.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.120
George Luks (1866–1933)
Knitting for the Soldiers: High Bridge Park, c. 1918
Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 x 36 1/8 in. (76.7 x 91.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.87
Robert Henri (1865–1929)
Sylvester, 1914
Oil on canvas, 32 x 26 in. (81.2 x 66 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2017.2
Rockwell Kent (1882–1971)
Cranberrying, Monhegan, c. 1907
Oil on canvas, 28 1/16 x 38 1/4 in. (71.3 x 97.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Gift of Mr. Dan Burne Jones. Image © Plattsburgh State Art Museum, Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection., C1983.4
George Bellows (1882–1925)
The Palisades, 1909
Oil on canvas, 30 x 38 1/8 in. (76.2 x 96.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.10
Robert Henri (1865–1929)
Figure in Motion, 1913
Oil on canvas, 77 1/4 x 37 1/4 in. (196.2 x 94.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.69
Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975)
Slaves, 1925
Oil on cotton duck mounted on board, 66 7/16 x 72 3/8 in. (168.8 x 183.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. Image © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York., 2003.4
Walter Ufer (1876–1936)
Builders of the Desert, 1923
Oil on canvas laid down on aluminum, 50 1/8 x 50 1/8 in. (127.3 x 127.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.174
Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Chicago, 1930
Watercolor, over graphite, on cream wove watercolor paper, 13 7/8 x 20 in. (35.2 x 50.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998.4
Reginald Marsh (1898–1954)
Pip and Flip, 1932
Tempera on canvas mounted on canvas, 48 1/4 x 48 1/4 in. (122.6 x 122.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection. Image © Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York ., 1999.96
Archibald J. Motley, Jr. (1891–1981)
Between Acts, 1935
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32 in. (100.3 x 81.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2009.1
Charles Sheeler (1883–1965)
Bucks County Barn, 1940
Oil on canvas, 18 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (46.7 x 72.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.135
Romare Bearden (1911–1988)
After Church, 1941
Gouache on brown paper, 22 × 34 1/2 in. (55.9 × 87.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. Image © 2018 Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York., 2015.2
Edward Hopper (1882–1967)
Dawn in Pennsylvania, 1942
Oil on canvas, 24 3/8 x 44 1/4 in. (61.9 x 112.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection. Image © Heirs of Josephine Hopper/ Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York., 1999.77
Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000)
Bar-b-que, 1942
Gouache on wove paper, 30 7/8 x 22 1/2 in. (78.4 x 57.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2013.1
Walt Kuhn (1877–1949)
Clown with Drum, 1942
Oil on canvas, 60 7/8 x 41 3/8 in. (154.6 x 105.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.172
Edward Hopper (1882–1967)
Sierra Madre at Monterrey, 1943
Watercolor with touches of wiping, over a charcoal underdrawing, on heavyweight textured ivory wove watercolor paper, 21 1/4 x 29 3/4 in. (54.0 x 75.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.18