George Eyster Senseney was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on October 11, 1874.  He was the son of Charles H. Senseney and Anna M. Eyster.  George E. Senseney attended the public schools in Wheeling and the Linsly Military Academy.

Mr. Senseney studied at the Corcoran School of Art (now the Corcoran College of Art and Design) and received private instruction from the Washington, D.C. artist, Howard Helmick.  George E. Senseney moved to Paris in 1899, where he attended the prestigious Academie Julien.  He studied under the masters Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant.  Mr. Senseney’s work was displayed at the Paris Salon in 1901.  In the same year, he returned to the Washington, D.C.  area, bringing his knowledge of color etching to the United States.  George Eyster Senseney was the first American to perform the art of color etching in the United States and had to develop the tools of his art independently.  From 1906-1907, he taught the practice of etching at the Art Students’ League in New York. His etchings were exhibited at the Keppel Galleries in New York City in 1908.  A review of his exhibited work was written in the New York Times on June 21, 1908 as follows:

Each print is as much a picture by the artist as though to make it he had used oil or water color pigment. The conventions of the different processes are, of course, different, but one is no more a convention than another.

In the case of Mr. Senseney, he uses a copper plate of soft ground, makes his drawing on this with his etching needle, then inks his plate with inks of different colors and prints, often varying his color scheme several times before deciding upon one from which to make the majority of his impressions.  No impression can be precisely like any other, the plate requiring a separate inking for each. The result represents the artist’s own feeling for form, color, and texture, as the work in nearly all cases is done from nature and not from the paintings of others.

George E. Senseney returned to France in 1910, where he continued to etch in color and to produce lithographs and wood blocks.  In France, he began to research and consider the technique of producing decorative papers.  In the years 1910 to 1914, he was elected as a member to two prestigious societies for artists, a testament to the respect he had in the community at that time.  In London, England on October 25, 1912, George Eyster Senseney married Dorothy Lucille Stewart, the daughter of the American painter William Wright Stewart and a jewelry-maker who had exhibited in Paris. They would have three children: Virginia Stewart, George Leonard, and William Stewart Senseney.

Mr. and Mrs. Senseney moved to the Northeastern United States in 1914, where he taught classes in etching in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 1915, George Eyster and Dorothy Lucille Senseney moved to Chicago, where Mr. Senseney and Frederick F. Fursman established the New School of Art.  Mr. Senseney was also elected president of the Society of Etchers in this year.  He earned a silver medal for etching at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.  In 1917, Mr. Senseney taught at Smith College and worked as the art director at the Holyoke, Massachusetts American Writing Paper Company developing the process of marbling paper.

In 1921, George Eyster Senseney, Russell H. Breewell, and Francis C. Heywood opened the Marvellum Company of Holyoke.  The Marvellum Company was the first company to produce marbled paper using a machine and continued to venture in to the processes of embossing, coating and printing decorative papers.  He remained at this company throughout his career and obtained numerous patents, including one for the “Sensagraph” process for printing on silks. 

George Eyster Senseney’s artwork was frequently displayed at the Holyoke League Arts & Crafts shows, a fact represented by the display tags still to be found behind many of the works proudly displayed in the homes of his ancestors. George Eyster Senseney died in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1943 at age 69. 


This website was created by Erik Senseney and James Mellor as a platform to aid in the preservation of the works of George Eyster Senseney. It is the Senseney family's dream to be able to display his art in galleries worldwide as his contributions to the art community and print industry are immeasurable.

Erik is the great grandson of George Eyster Senseney and is a printmaker, photographer and artist. His work can be viewed at

James is the husband of the great granddaughter of George Eyster Senseney and is a photographer, artist and web designer. His work can be viewed at