The painter Edward Bruce was trained as a lawyer, receiving his degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1904, and worked as an attorney and businessman in New York and the Philippines. In the early 1920s he moved to Italy to study art with Maurice Sterne, where he remained until 1929; he returned to the United States and continued his painting in California until 1932, when he moved to Washington, D.C., to work briefly as a lobbyist. In 1933 Bruce was named director of the Public Works of Art Project and in 1934 he became head of the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture. Bruce received numerous honors for his paintings, including a medal for excellence from Columbia University in 1937 and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Harvard University in 1938; he was also elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Bruce’s paintings are in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Phillips Collection, and the San Francisco Museum of Art, and his papers are in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.