The early 1930s were prosperous for the painter Francis Criss (1901-1973), but tough going for most American workers. Criss was born in London, England, in 1901 and moved with his family to Philadelphia at age 4. He began to sketch and paint as a child and won a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1917. Later he studied art in Europe, at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, and at the Art Students League in New York City. In 1932 he was invited to exhibit his paintings in a one-man show at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York and also had his work featured in the First Biennial Exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1933 Criss had a second solo exhibition and the following year won a Guggenheim Fellowship to make another trip abroad. His career was taking off, and the future looked bright.
Cole TB. Alma Sewing. JAMA. 2009;302(18):1944. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1616