Henry Gasser (1909 – 1981) was born in Newark, New Jersey. Gasser studied at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art and served as its director from 1946 – 54.
His favorite subjects were those of his native Newark neighborhood hangouts in both watercolor and oils. He preferred to paint in watercolor and his reputation rests more upon this medium. Although his oils represent some of his finest work, they are relatively scarce.
Gasser looked upon John Grabach, his former teacher, as a mentor and the two remained close throughout their lives. Like Grabach, Gasser also liked to paint marine subjects, often painting in Gloucester and Rockport. Gasser’s earlier work often depicts African-American subjects both in New Jersey and the Deep South. Gasser also traveled abroad to paint in Europe. Throughout his career, he won over ninety awards and his work is in over thirty museums. He was an accomplished teacher and authored several important books on artistic techniques.