Born in Conway, MA, the son of English immigrants, Ernest Watson graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in 1906 and received Art Teacher training at the Pratt Institute. He taught there from 1908 - 1929. He was one of the founders of the Berkshire Summer School of Art and worked in publishing art education books, teaching people how to draw, paint and sculpt. He had a distinguished career in art, art publishing and education. Until his retirement in 1955 he was the editor-in-chief of American Artist Magazine.