Signed lower left: ‘Botkin’. From the estate of the artist.
Henry Botkin was born and raised in Boston and studied at the Massachusetts College of Art before moving to New York to study at the Art Students League. He was fortunate to receive help and introductions from his cousins, George and Ira Gershwin. They supported his study in Paris in the 1920s, and he returned the favor by buying paintings for them and their friends (including Billy Rose, Marie Harriman, Averill Harriman, and Fanny Brice) through his contacts with Paris artists and galleries. Upon his return to America he began to work in South Carolina with Dubose Heyward and introduced Heyward’s Porgy and Bess to the Gershwins. By the late 1940s his interest had turned to abstract painting and collage. Botkin began to take an active role in bringing abstract art into greater public awareness. He served as president of four major art organizations: The Artist’s Equity Association, American Abstract Artist’s, Group 256 (Provincetown), and Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. In 1955 he organized the first exhibition of American abstract art at the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.