Biography: Born in Philadelphia, Sheeler trained in industrial drawing and applied arts at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia before attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Sheeler traveled to Europe with other art students in 1904–05 and with fellow student Morton Schamberg in 1908–09. On this second visit Sheeler visited the Paris home of Michael and Sarah Stein, early patrons of Picasso and Braque. The experience inspired him to begin working in a cubist fashion.
Sheeler and Schamberg would later share a studio in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Sheeler taught himself photography. In the teens Sheeler became involved with the modern art scene in New York, befriending Alfred Stieglitz, Marius de Zayas, the Arensbergs, and John Quinn. In 1920 he collaborated with photographer Paul Strand on the film Manhatta. Sheeler became known as a Precisionist for his spare and modern paintings, drawings, and photographs of the built environment.