George Sotter 1879–1953
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, George Sotter began his artistic career as a stained glass artist. He worked at various Pittsburgh studios prior to moving to Bucks County in 1902 to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as well as with Edward W. Redfield, the premier painter of the New Hope School. He participated in the Academy’s exhibition in 1903 and then returned to his studies there under William Merritt Chase and Thomas Anshutz from 1905 until 1907.
Sotter lived in a converted barn in Holicong, near New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he painted Bucks County landscapes and continued working as a stained glass artist. Due to his geographic location and his painting style, he became associated with the New Hope School of American Impressionists. He excelled at painting and is perhaps best known for his masterful rendering of light, especially in winter night scenes and billowing clouds.
He married artist Alice Bennett in 1907 and became an instructor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology’s School of Fine Arts in 1910, where he would teach until 1919. They returned to New Hope in 1919 and settled permanently in the historic Holicong home (where he had previously stayed) where they lived and operated Sotter Studio. Though he considered himself primarily a painter by this point, he also continued working in stained glass and earned a national reputation making windows for churches and monasteries. At one point, he had fifteen craftsmen working for him; his accomplishments helped to establish Bucks County as a center for glass art.
Sotter also traveled and painted in American and Europe, particularly in Rockport, Maine where he produced many of his highly lauded marine scenes. He exhibited extensively throughout his career and won many awards, including a Silver Medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915, and his work can be found in many public and private collections, among them the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown and the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia.