Edward Henry Potthast was an American Impressionist painter. He is known for his paintings of people at leisure in Central Park, and on the beaches of New York and New England.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. From June 10, 1879 to March 9, 1881 he studied with Thomas Satterwhite Noble. He later studied at the Royal Academy in Munich with the American-born instructor Carl Marr. After returning to Cincinnati in 1885 he resumed his studies with Noble. In 1886 he departed for Paris, where he studied with Fernand Cormon. In 1895 he relocated to New York City and remained there until his death in 1927.
Until the age of thirty-nine Potthast earned a living as a lithographer. The purchase of one of his paintings by the Cincinnati Museum of Art may have encouraged him to abandon lithography for a career as a fine artist. His paintings retained the subdued colors and strong contrasts of the Munich school until he adopted the Impressionist palette late in his career.
After his arrival in New York Potthast worked as a magazine illustrator, and exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, the Society of American Artists and the Salmagundi Club, winning numerous prizes. By 1908 he was installed in a studio in the Gainsborough Building. Thereafter he painted sun-saturated images of Central Park, New England landscapes, and the Long Island beach scenes for which he is best remembered. His work is included in many major museums in the United States.