Known for his impressionistic views of New York’s skyline and harbors, Charles Vezin forged an unusual, but highly successful, career in the early-twentieth century. Born in Philadelphia, Vezin graduated from the Pennsylvania Military Academy and founded a successful drygoods firm in New York. He decided to embark on an artistic career at the age of 41, training under William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, and Frank DuMond at the Art Students League. Vezin divided his time between his business and his art for the next twenty years, painting every morning and evening, and began painting full-time in 1919. Rejecting the Modernists’ attention to (what he considered) human depravity and decadence—a frequent subject of his essays—Vezin portrayed the beauty of natural landscapes and the progress of urban industry.
Vezin was a fixture in the New York art world: he wrote several articles on art; served as the president of the Salmagundi Club, the Art Students League, and the Brooklyn Society of Artists; exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago; and won prizes from the Society of Washington Artists, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the Lyme Art Association, the Hudson Valley Art Association, the Palm Beach Art Center, and the Allied Artists of America. He was also a prominent member of the Artist Colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where he worked alongside Dumond, Allen Butler Talcott, and William S. Robinson. His work is now in the New York Historical Society, the Hudson River Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Florence Griswold Museum.