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Edward C. Volkert

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Edward C. Volkert
Lyme Art Colony
American, (1871–1935) In Lyme: 1922-1935
Edward Charles Volkert (1871-1935) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied at Woodward High School and the Ohio Mechanical Institute. He received the Frank Duveneck Scholarship and studied under Duveneck at the Cincinnati Art Academy. In 1899 he attended the Art Students League in New York. At the Art Students League he studied under William Merritt Chase, Henry Siddons Mowbray, and George DeForest Brush.

Volkert began his career as a portraitist. He also painted watercolors. Volkert married Jessica Willis in New York and the couple had two children, Ruth and Robert. The couple divorced when the children were quite young. In 1909 Jessica and Ruth moved back to Cincinnati. Volkert retained custody of his son but did not see his daughter again for almost fifteen years. He was deeply distressed by this personal tragedy.

Following the divorce Volkert began painting landscapes and eventually cattle. He earned a reputation as "Cincinnati’s Cattle Painter."

Volkert moved to Connecticut in 1922. He settled in Hamburg section of Lyme. There he continued to paint cattle and oxen. He would often join the artists of the Lyme Art Colony at the Griswold House in their Sunday afternoon gatherings relishing their discussions of art.

Volkert was a member of the New York Watercolor Club, the American Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of America, the Salmagundi Club and an associate member of the National Academy of Design. He was also a member of the Union International des Beaux-Arts et des Lettres, the Cincinnati Art Club, the American Society of Animal Painters and Sculptors, the National Arts Club, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts and the American Federation of Arts.

He exhibited at the annual Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Exhibitions in 1898, 1909-13, 1918-19, and 1932. He also exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery biennials, 1910-23 (3 times), the New York Watercolor Club in 1919 (prize), the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1925 (prize) and in 1929 (prize) and the New Haven Paint and Clay Club in 1930 (prize). He also exhibited at the Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

In 1933 Volkert’s daughter died. Her death caused Volkert to lose his passion for painting and he never painted after that time. He was a Christian Scientist and did not believe in treatment by doctors. In 1935 he contracted uremia poisoning, refused treatment, and died.

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