Leon Abraham Kroll

American, 1884 - 1975
Leon Kroll was born in New York to an impoverished music loving family. Kroll, however, was drawn to the visual arts, when as a child he would haunt the old red brick and granite Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was earning his own way at fifteen and earned his tuition for the Art Students League by sweeping floors and washing paint brushes.

Kroll's first art instructor was John Henry Twachtman and it was at the League that Winslow Homer recognized his talent and encouraged the young Kroll to pursue a career in painting. From 1906 to 1908 he further studied at the National Academy of Design, there winning a scholarship to study at the Academie Julian in Paris under the tutelage of Jean-Paul Laurens. After one year of study he won the Grand Prix in the concours for painting the nude.

On returning to New York in 1910, Kroll earned critical and popular success with his one-man exhibition at the National Academy of Design. He became associated with a circle of artists that included George Bellows, Robert Henri, William Glackens, George Luks, Ernest Lawson, and Edward Hopper. In 1913 Kroll participated in the now famous Armory Show that for the first time introduced 'modern' art to the American public and stimulated American artists to revise their attitudes to art and the tradition of representational painting.

Leon Kroll's career was long and successful. He taught and lectured at such prestigious institutions as the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy, and the Chicago Art Institute. He won almost every major prize in painting and is included in the collections of museums throughout the country. -Boca Raton Museum of Art

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
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