Edward Corbett was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1919. His father was an Army cavalry officer, so he spent his first nine years in El Paso, Texas, and then lived in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the Philippines, and Dayton, Ohio. Corbett was thirteen years old when he had his first art lessons at the Dayton Art Institute. Between 1937 and 1941, he attended the California School of Fine Arts(CSFA) in San Francisco. In 1941, Corbett was drafted into the army during World War II, but received a medical discharge a year later and spent two more years in the merchant marines as a chief master at arms. Upon his discharge, he spent a year in New York before returning to San Francisco. Corbett taught at CSFA between 1947 and 1951, and he also taught an advanced drawing and painting course at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1951, he moved to New Mexico where he was director of the Taos Field School of Art, University of New Mexico. Corbett was chosen as one of fifteen artists for the 1952 exhibition of painting and sculpture, Fifteen Americans, at MoMA. In 1953, Corbett joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Painting at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. For the next decade he divided his time between Taos, NM and Provincetown, MA. Later, he made his home in Washington, DC. His work is represented in the collections of MoMA, Whitney, Smithsonian, Tate Modern, Art Institute of Chicago, and Harwood Museum of Art.