Russian-born Saul Kovner studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City with Charles Hawthorne and William Auerbach-Levy, considered one of America's most renowned caricaturists. Kovner was employed as a painter and printmaker by the Federal Art Project, a branch of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) created during the Great Depression to give financial and moral support to America's artists. He often dropped his surname when signing his prints, and is also known simply as "Saul." After his training at the National Academy of Design, Kovner maintained a studio near Central Park, creating paintings and drawings of the city and its people. He later moved to California and exhibited widely on the West Coast.