Earl Horter Biography

Earl Horter




Painter, printmaker, and illustrator Earl Horter was born in Germantown, PA, in 1881. He began teaching himself how to draw as a child, and as a teenager learned how to engrave stock certificates. It wasn't until he moved to New York City in 1903 that he took his first formal art class, in etching, to secure a job at an advertising agency.

He had his first solo exhibition at the Frederick Keppel & Company gallery at the urging of Carl Zigrosser, noted curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art. Zigrosser introduced the budding artist to Modernism, which proved fateful for Horter who was greatly inspired by the new wave of Cubist, Abstract, and Expressionist works and artists, and began collecting. In 1917 when Horter returned to Philadelphia he purchased a brownstone for use as a studio and gallery for his collection, working with noted Rodin Museum architect Paul Cret. He would become known for this collection, at the time unparalleled, which included works by American and European as well as African and American Indian artists.

Horter exhibited at the Pan American Exposition in 1915, SF; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Philadelphia Print Club's National Exhibition of Prints; and Corcoran Gallery biennials from 1935 - 1939. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators, and he taught at the Stella Elkins School of Art; Graphic Sketch Club (now the Fleischer Art Memorial), and the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts).

Horter remained in Philadelphia until his death in 1940.