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Kroll, Leon

Modernist painter Leon Kroll (1884-1974)achieved renown for his stylized realism in an era when modernist painting headed increasingly toward abstraction. He was also an important and influential teacher at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students' League. Among his colleagues and friends were Marc Chagall, Paul Cezanne, Robert and Sonya Delaunay, Robert Henri, and George Bellows. Born in New York, he studied with John Twachtman and in France with Jean-Paul Laurens. He was an Academician at the National Academy, where he earned his first solo exhibition at age eighteen. That show was followed by many others, including the 1913 Armory Show. He won many prizes, including several Altman Prizes at the Academy; the Potter Palmer Gold Medal and the Logan Medal at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Porter Prize at the Salmagundi Club; and two gold medals at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Kroll began to paint New York scenes in 1918 and eventually exhibited with the American group The Eight. He also painted on Monhegan Island, Maine; in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts; in Woodstock, New York; and in Santa Fe with Bellows and Henri. His commissions included mural paintings at the Justice Building in Washington, D.C., John Hopkins University, and the Worcester War Memorial, as well as the mosaic dome at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Omaha Beach in France. Painter, printmaker, art critic, and teacher, Kroll managed to straddle the disparate worlds of modern American Art. By the 1920s he was one of the country's most famous artists. A retrospective of his work was mounted by the Worcester Art Museum in 1937. Kroll died in New York City in 1974.

Title: In the Forest/A Death in the Family
Medium: oil on canvas, signed lower right, 32" x 25-1/4"