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Horace Wolcott Robbins Edit Profile

artist , lawyer

Horace Wolcott Robbins was an American landscape painter known for his watercolors.


Horace Wolcott Robbins was born in Mobile, Alabama on 21 October 1842. His father came from Rocky Hill, Connecticut, descended from the first settlers there, and his mother came from Norwich, Connecticut.


He studied at Newton University in Baltimore, where he was given drawing lessons by August Weidenbach, a landscape painter from Germany. In 1859 Robbins studied under James McDougal Hart in New York City. He graduated from Newton University in 1860 and set up his own studio.

Hugh Bolton Jones studied under Robbins for a few months.


The family moved to Baltimore, Maryland when Robbins was aged six. During the American Civil War (1861–65) he served in the 22nd New York Regiment at the Battle of Harpers Ferry in 1862. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (1862–64) and at the Boston Art Association and the Brooklyn Art Association.

In 1865 Robbins joined Frederic Edwin Church on a visit to Jamaica and the West Indies. He then traveled to England, the Netherlands and Paris, where he set up a studio and studied with Théodore Rousseau. He went on a sketching trip in Switzerland in 1866, spent more time in a studio in Paris, and returned to New York late in the fall of 1867.

He settled into a routine of painting seven or eight landscapes each year. Soon after returning to America Robbins began spending his summers in the Farmington Valley in Connecticut, making paintings of the river and woods. He joined the American Watercolor Society, Artists' Fund Society and New York Etching Club.

He became a trustee of the New York School of Applied Design for Women and a fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While continuing to paint, in 1890 Robbins attended Columbia Law School. In 1892 he was admitted to the New York State Bar.

Horace Wolcott Robbins died in 1904 in New York City.


Robbins was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1878, and in 1882 became the Academy's recording secretary.


Married Mary A. Phelps, September 27, 1865.

Horace Robbins

James Hart