A superb draughtsman and technician, Earl Horter was born in 1881, and was raised in Philadelphia. He was first employed as a commercial artist and learned engraving. In the 1920’s, he was on the staff of N.W. Ayer, the largest graphic design agency in Philadelphia.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Horter produced a tremendous amount of artwork. He also traveled to Europe several times, summered in Rockport, Massachusetts, and worked in New York City. Throughout the 1930’s, he taught at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and at Tyler School of Art.
Horter’s drawings, lithographs, and etchings of large cities (primarily Philadelphia and New York) are of superior quality. His works are in numerous public collections, including: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The artist exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1932, where he was awarded the Etching Prize; and at the National Print Exhibition of the Philadelphia Print Club in 1933, and 1938, where he was awarded prizes in both years. In 1915, he was awarded a Silver Medal from the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
Horter became a member of the Society of Illustrators in 1910. He died in 1940 and the Whitney Museum honored him with a retrospective exhibition in 1978.