Daniel Kotz was born in log cabin in the Clay Township, just north of Notre Dame, in South Bend Indiana in1848. he spent much of his youth working on the family farm and enjoying the nature around him. In his spare time he found he had an an interest in drawing and sketching parts of his surroundings – including trees, open meadows, hayfields and more. As this love of nature matured in his hobby, he realized it was something he wanted to do on a higher level.
As he traveled around the area of the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan, his interest in Landscapes grew, as did his ability to capture it on paper and canvas. He began to sketch drawings and taught himself to work in all mediums. He went to Northwestern College in Napiersville, where he took general studies. Aside from his art and book studies, he also wrote a column for the monthly newsletter entitled “Kotz’s Mite”.
In 1870 he went to Chicago and studied under Henry F Spread, and in 1875 he worked with H A Elkins. He was one of the founders of the Chicago Art League. From there he went to New York City and opened a studio. The first painting he ever exhibited was hung in the National Academy of the Art and Design in 1886. in the 1880s he was commissioned by the then Vice-President Schayler Colfax, to execute a painting for his wife.
On March 22, 1980 he was the cover story of the American Art Journal. It ws around this time when he moved to Park Ridge, NJ, and built a commodious studio and home on a New Jersey hillside overlooking the beautiful Passaic Valley with New York in the distance. he expedited for years and was one of the originators of the Salmagundi Club in NJ – around the turn of the century. His skills became more refined and his work became more desired. He found more and more of his favorite subject matter in the New England area where he painted until his death in 1934.