William Zorach was the son of Lithuanian immigrants who settled in Ohio when he was four years old. He dropped out of school at age thirteen and worked as a lithographer's apprentice to help support his family.
- Paul Manship turned his attention from painting to sculpture after discovering that he was color-blind. As a teenager, he devoted so much time to sculpting that he neglected his studies and dropped out of school.
Cook, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, learned printmaking from Joseph Pennell at the Art Students League in the early 1920s. He subsequently traveled widely, including a trip to Maine in the summer of 1926.
Winslow Homer began his art career in 1854 or 1855 as an apprentice to J. H. Bufford, a lithographer in Boston. He left two years later to begin free-lance illustration.
Edward Mitchell Bannister was one of the few African American painters of the nineteenth century to win significant recognition. He grew up on the coast in New Brunswick, and spent several months working as a ship's cook.
When Abbott Handerson Thayer turned eighteen, his family moved from Keene, New Hampshire, to Brooklyn, where the thriving art and literary scene fed his imagination. For a time Thayer studied in Paris, and soon after his return to New York his career prospered.
Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt came to America from Sweden when he was thirteen. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, working for a Swedish newspaper before and after his classes in order to make money.
William Page’s work caught the eye of artist John Trumbull, president of the American Academy in New York, when Page was just fourteen. At that time Page was working in a law office, and Trumbull warned that life as an artist would cause him to “starve . . .
Born in Clearfield, Iowa, Ross Moffett began studying art at the Cummins School of Art in Des Moines in 1907.
William Penhallow “Whippy” Henderson and his wife, the editor and poet Alice Corbin, moved to the Southwest in 1916. His career thrived in New Mexico, where he created paintings and book illustrations, crafted furniture, and designed stage sets and architecture.
Childe Hassam learned the value of hard work after his father’s hardware store burned to the ground and Hassam left school to work as a wood engraver.
Albert Pinkham Ryder moved to New York with his family in the late 1860s. He applied to the National Academy of Design but failed the entrance exam.