Born in Philadelphia, PA, Charles Sheeler went on to become one of the most influential photographers and modern artists of the twentieth century. He studied industrial drawing and applied arts at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and drawing and painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. While studying at the Academy he also became friends with American Impressionist, William Merritt Chase. He was also able to travel overseas during his studies both with fellow students and with his family where he developed an interest in Renaissance Art and Italian painters such as Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, and Giotto. Charles Sheeler held his first exhibit in 1908 at the MacBeth Gallery in New York City and upon visiting Paris the following year; he developed a cubist style as seen in his work for many years to follow.
Sheeler’s photography, like his paintings, focused on linear precision as seen in his work in the coming decades. His subject matter was usually focused on commercial plants, buildings and machinery. By 1940 Fortune Magazine published a series of articles based on six of his paintings in order to ‘reflect life through forms’ which he prepared for by traveling for a year taking photographs.
Charles Sheeler’s work is included in the collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and numerous others. He passed away at the age of 81 in Dobbs Ferry, New York.