Herbert Kniffin

St. Tropez

c. 1920
oil on canvas
42 x 40 inches
47.5 x 46 inches framed
signed lower right


Herbert Reynolds Kniffin was born in 1886. He studied at the Cooper Union School of Art, Columbia University, and independently in Paris. He was the Director of Fine Art at the University of Pittsburgh from 1912-1917. In the 1910s, Kniffin frequently traveled to France and executed numerous scenes of Paris and Saint-Tropez. 

He also visited Algiers and painted several North African scenes. While teaching at the University of Pittsburgh, he exhibited five works over three years at the Pittsburgh Associated Artists, the most well known work being a 40" x 50" harbor scene titled "The Dories", executed in 1916. 

Kniffin left Pittsburgh in 1918 for a position as Director of Art for the Ethical Culture Society in New York City. Kniffin also held teaching positions at the University of California (1918), Fieldstone Art Academy (1918-1930), Rutgers, and the Grand Central School of Art. He was the author of a series of books on art/art history: Masks; Elements of Art Appreciation; and Fine Arts & Education (1931). 

Herbert Kniffin painted a variety of subjects: harbor scenes, street scenes, landscapes, coastal scenes, and figurative work. He lived in Gloucester for a time and in Florida, towards the end of his life. During this time he painted local plant and animal life as well as Native American subjects.