Buffalo, New York native John Folinsbee received his artistic training at the Art Student League in New York City with John F. Carlson, Birge Harrison, Frank DuMond, and Jonas Lie. A successful artist, Folinsbee was honored with admission to the National Academy of Design, the National Arts Club, the Century Association, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and the Woodstock Art Association. He exhibited extensively at some of the nation’s most prestigious venues, winning numerous prizes over the course of his career. These include the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the National Academy of Design, the Carnegie Institute, and the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
Folinsbee’s works are currently housed in esteemed public and private collections throughout the United States such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the National Academy of Design, the Smithsonian Institute, the National Arts Club, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum, among others. For a time, Folinsbee worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project. During this tenure he completed murals in the United States Post Offices in Freeland and Burgettstown, Pennsylvania as well as a mural in the Paducah Court House in Kentucky.
Folinsbee settled with his wife in New Hope, Pennsylvania in 1916 and is often associated with the group of impressionists who worked in the area. However, Folinsbee also had strong ties to Maine, as beginning in the 1930s, he and his family spent their summers in the state. In 1949, they purchased a farmhouse on Montsweag Road near Wiscasset, where Folinsbee spent many years capturing Maine’s coastal landscape.