Born in Russia, Maurice Kish immigrated to New York in his teens and studied art at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design. He held a variety of jobs, including poet, amateur boxer, Catskills dance instructor, and factory worker in New York City, where he painted flowers on glass vases. As an artist, Kish’s main subjects were cities and the human activity within; a labor activist, he used his canvases as a vehicle for telling the stories of industrial workers. Critics claim that his vision was one of “popular reality,” meaning that his subjects and manner of painting them reflected what was important to the average person (Elizabeth McCausland, “Eleven Young Artists at the A.C.A. Gallery,” The Springfield Sunday Union and Republican, September 15, 1940).