Lee Krasner
American abstract expressionist artist
Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner was an influential abstract expressionist painter in the second half of the 20th century. On October 25, 1945, she married artist Jackson Pollock, who was also influential in the Abstract Expressionism movement.
Lee Krasner's personal information overview.
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Molly Barnes Brown Bag Art Talks at New York's Roger Smith Hotel - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Up soon is Connie Butler, chief curator of drawings at MoMA, and Gail Levin, author of a book on Lee Krasner. Perhaps we'll also be privy to a critique of the five new artworks Barnes purchases for the hotel. For more information about the Brown Bag
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Olley's studio could live again - The Australian
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... museums but intimate house-museums where an artist lived and worked: the London home of neoclassical architect John Soane, for example, or the Long Island, New York house and studio of Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, where Blue Poles was made
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Calvin J. Goodman, Influential Mentor to Artists and Advisor to Arts ... - Art Daily
Google News - over 5 years
At a dinner honoring the legacy of Jackson Pollock, Goodman was seated beside Pollock's wife, Lee Krasner. He said he had always been curious about a certain issue. “What would you like to know about Jackson?” Krasner asked
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Prince among Men - Artforum
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The series also scored points with locals for prominently featuring Pollock and Lee Krasner's Hamptons home. “My friend works there,” I heard a woman say. “She teaches drip painting to the children.” The opening was preceded by a parade of
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The Second Trauma: Arriving in America After the Holocaust - New Voices
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Toynton's debut novel, “Modern Art,” highlighted the life of Lee Krasner, widow of Jackson Pollock. Praised for its insight into real human drama and lively use of words, “Modern Art” was selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2000
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Richard Prince Covers Jackson Pollock at Guild Hall - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Photographs of the serene Springs setting where Pollock and Lee Krasner lived and worked, some with Krasner posing, another with girlfriend Ruth Kligman, another with the fatal car upturned, collaged with cancelled checks, or snapshots,
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Borrowing from Pollock - The Sag Harbor Express
Google News - over 5 years
Prince uses stark photographs of Jackson Pollack and his wife Lee Krasner at their East Hampton home as templates on which to build. His paintings can be seen as commentary of both Pollack himself and the concept of the artist in general
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Photos from the Smithsonian exhibition, Little Pictures, Big Lives - NPR (blog)
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That a snapshot of a man holding daisies out to his love is a sweet picture, "but when you know that it's Jackson Pollack [giving] daisies ... to Lee Krasner, it becomes a different picture," she says. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner pose on the beach
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'Abstract Expressionist New York' exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario ... - Plain Dealer
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The show also tries to make a case for Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock's wife, as a full member of the boys' club around her. And there may be a convincing case to be made, as some scholars have lately argued. But juxtaposing Krasner's nuanced 1949
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Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum New Exhibitions - KATC Lafayette News
Google News - over 5 years
... with the triumph of American painting following World War II with abstract expressionism and Pop Art. Among other masters included are Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Frederick Frieseke, Robert Henri, Lee Krasner, Larry Rivers, and James Rosenquist
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Southampton Is Pursuing Artistic Designs - Wall Street Journal
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Founded by philanthropist and lawyer Samuel Parrish, the museum has been a village institution for more than 100 years, with a collection that includes works by former local artists such as Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. The Parrish says it needed to
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Tina Dickey To Speak On Hans Hofmann - Hamptons.com
Google News - over 5 years
Among them was Lee Krasner, who studied with Hofmann in the late 1930s and continued to be associated with him for several years thereafter. In her new book, "Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hofmann," artist and author Tina Dickey examines
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Memorial books placed at West Pittston Library - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
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In memory of Angelo A. Anzalone, “One Hundred Names for Love”, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Sammon and Attorney and Mrs. Charles Ross, Jr., and “Lee Krasner: A Memoir”, presented by Ruth and Cliff Melberger. In memory of Oakley Baker,
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Prime Ribs: Zumba to 'Hava Nagila'; Facebook as Lifesaver - Forward (blog)
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Art critic Jed Pearl ponders the question of what it meant to be a female painter during the 20th century, in his recent review of new biographies on Lee Krasner and Joan Michell. (See the Forward's review of the Krasner biography here
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Breaking Even on Broadway - East Hampton Star
Google News - over 5 years
The weekend will end with the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center Annual Lecture, this year featuring Gail Levin on Lee Krasner in East Hampton. Individual tickets begin at $20, or $18 for Guild Hall members, with a variety of packages available
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Freedom of Expressionism
NYTimes - over 5 years
LEE KRASNER A Biography By Gail Levin Illustrated. 546 pp. William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers. $30. JOAN MITCHELL Lady Painter: A Life By Patricia Albers Illustrated. 514 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $40. Biographers are forever readjusting our sense of the fantastically mutable relationship between an individual and a society. All men and women are
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Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell: Abstract Expressionist Lives - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
By Gail Levin By Patricia Albers Lee Krasner, circa 1940, with one of her paintings. The lives of Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell — painters born nearly a generation apart, Krasner in 1908 and Mitchell in 1925 — cannot be understood without considering
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Abstract art with a heart - Hamilton Spectator
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They include Jackson Pollock (13 paintings), Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Clifford Still, Barnett Newman, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner and many more. According to American critics and historians, Abstract Expressionism enabled New York
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lee Krasner
  • 1984
    Age 75
    Lee Krasner died in 1984, age 75, from natural causes.
    More Details Hide Details She had been suffering from arthritis. Six months after her death, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City held a retrospective exhibition of her work. A review of the exhibition in the New York Times noted that it "clearly defines Krasner's place in the New York School" and that she "is a major, independent artist of the pioneer Abstract Expressionist generation, whose stirring work ranks high among that produced here in the last half-century." As of 2008, Krasner is one of only four women artists to have had a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art. The other three women artists are Louise Bourgeois (MoMA retrospective in 1982), Helen Frankenthaler (MoMA retrospective in 1989) and Elizabeth Murray (MoMA retrospective in 2004). Her papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1985; they were digitized and posted on the web for researchers in 2009. After her death, her East Hampton property became the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio, and is open to the public for tours. A separate organization, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, was established in 1985. The Foundation functions as the official Estate for both Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, and also, under the terms of her will, serves "to assist individual working artists of merit with financial need." The U.S. copyright representative for the Pollock-Krasner Foundation is the Artists Rights Society.
  • 1976
    Age 67
    In 1976, she started working on her second series of collage images.
    More Details Hide Details She began working on these collages after she was cleaning out her studio and discovered some charcoal drawings mostly of figure studies that she completed from 1937 to 1940. After she saved a few of them, she decided to use the rest in a new series of collages. In these collages, the black and gray shapes of the figure studies are juxtaposed against the blank canvas or the addition of brightly colored paint. The hard-edged shapes of the cut drawings are reconstructed into curvilinear shapes that recall floral patterns. Texture is induced through the contrast of the smooth paper and rough canvas. Since the figure studies are cut up and rearranged without consideration of their original intention or message, the differences between the old drawings and new structures is highly exaggerated. All of the collages' titles from this series are different verb tenses which is interpreted as a critique of Greenberg's and Michael Fried's insistence on the presentness of modern art. These works are also considered as a statement about how artists need to reexamine and rework their style in order to stay relevant as they grow older. This collage series was very well received by a large audience when they were exhibited in 1977 at the Pace Gallery.
  • 1973
    Age 64
    She painted in this style until about 1973.
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  • 1970
    Age 61
    Starting in 1970, Krasner began making large horizontal paintings made up of hard-edge lines and a palette of a few bright colors that contrasted one another.
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  • 1969
    Age 60
    In 1969, Krasner mostly concentrated on creating works on paper with gouache.
    More Details Hide Details These works were named either earth, water, seed, or hieroglyphics and often looked similar to a Rorschach test. Some scholars claim that these images were a critique of Greenberg's theory about the importance of the two-dimensional nature of the canvas. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Krasner's work was significantly influenced by postmodern art and emphasized the inherent problems of art as a form of communication.
  • 1965
    Age 56
    This reevaluation is reflected in her first retrospective exhibition of her paintings which was held in London at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details This exhibition was more well received by critics in comparison to her previous shows in New York.
  • 1963
    Age 54
    She continued working in this style until she suffered an aneurysm, fell, and broke her right wrist in 1963, the wrist she used to paint with.
    More Details Hide Details Since she still wanted to work, she painted with her left hand instead. To overcome working with her non-dominant hand, she often would directly apply paint from a tube to the canvas rather than using a brush, causing there to be large patches of white canvas on the surfaces of the images. The gesture and the physicality of these works is more restrained since she is working with her left hand. After recovering from her broken arm, Krasner began working on bright and decorative allover painting which are less aggressive than her Earth Green Series and Umber Series paintings. Often, these images recall calligraphy or floral ornamentation which are not blatantly related to Krasner's emotional state. Floral or calligraphic shapes dominate the canvas, connecting variable brushwork into a single pattern. By the second half of the 1960s, critics began reassessing Krasner's role in the New York School as a painter and critic who greatly influenced Pollock and Greenberg due to the rise of the feminism. Prior to this, her status as an artist was typically overlooked by critics and scholars due to her relationship with Pollock. Since Pollock is such a large figure in the abstract expressionist movement, it is still often difficult for scholars to discuss her work without mentioning Pollock in some capacity.
  • 1962
    Age 53
    By 1962, she begins using bright colors and allude to floral and plant-like shapes.
    More Details Hide Details These works are compositionally similar to her monochrome images due to their large size and rhythmic nature with no central focal point. The palette of these images often contrast one another and allude to tropical landscapes or plants.
  • 1958
    Age 49
    In 1958, she was commissioned to create two abstract murals for an office building on Broadway.
    More Details Hide Details She created two collage maquettes which depicted floral motifs for two entryways of the building. Later, these murals were destroyed in a fire. Krasner's Umber Series paintings were created during a time period when the artist was suffering from insomnia. Since she was working during the nighttime, she had to paint with artificial light rather than daylight, causing her palette to shift from bright, vibrant hues to dull, monochrome colors. She also was still dealing with the death of Pollock and the recent death of her mother, which caused her to use an aggressive style when creating these images. These mural sized action paintings contrast dark and light severely since white, grays, black, and brown are the predominant colors used. Evidence of her animated brushwork can be seen through the drips and splatters of paint on the canvas. There is no central spot for the viewer to focus on in these works, making the composition highly dynamic and rhythmic. To paint these large-scale images, Krasner would tack the canvas to a wall. These images no longer imply organic forms but instead are often interpreted as violent and turbulent landscapes.
  • 1957
    Age 48
    By 1957, she continued to create figurative abstract forms in her work, but they suggest more floral elements rather than anatomical.
    More Details Hide Details She used brighter colors which were more vibrant and commonly contrasted other colors in the composition. She also would dilute paint or use a dry brush to make the colors more transparent.
  • 1956
    Age 47
    By 1956, their relationship became strained as they faced certain issues.
    More Details Hide Details Pollock had begun struggling with his alcoholism again and was partaking in an extramarital affair with Ruth Kligman. Krasner left in the summertime to visit friends in Europe but had to quickly return when Pollock died in a car crash while she was away. Krasner was brought up in an orthodox Jewish home throughout her childhood and adolescence. They lived in Brownsville, Brooklyn which had a large population of poor Jewish immigrants. Her father spent most of his time practicing Judaism while her mother upheld the household and the family business. Krasner appreciated aspects of Judaism like Hebrew script, prayers, and religious stories. As a teenager, she grew critical of what she perceived as misogyny in orthodox Judaism. In an interview later in her life, Krasner recalls reading a prayer translation and thinking it was "indeed a beautiful prayer in every sense except for the closing of it... if you are a male you say, 'Thank You, O Lord, for creating me in Your image'; and if you are a woman you say, 'Thank You, O Lord, for creating me as You saw fit.'" She also began reading existentialist philosophies during this time period, causing her to turn away from Judaism even further.
    During the summer of 1956, Krasner started her Earth Green Series.
    More Details Hide Details While she started painting these images before Pollock's death, they are considered to reflect her feelings of anger, guilt, pain, and loss she experienced about their relationship before and after he died. This intense emotion she felt during this time caused her art to develop into a more liberated form of her self-expression and pushed the boundaries of conventional, developed concepts of art. Through these large-scale action paintings, she depicts hybridized figures that are made up of organic plant-like forms and anatomical parts, which often allude to both male and female body parts. These forms dominate the canvas, causing it to be crowded and densely packed with bursting and bulging shapes. The pain she experienced during this time is illustrated through the principal usage of flesh tones with blood-red accents in the figures which suggest wounds. The paint drips on the canvas show her speed and willingness to relinquish absolute control, both necessary for portraying her emotions.
  • 1955
    Age 46
    By 1955, she made collage paintings on a larger scale and varied the material she used for the support, using either masonite, wood, or canvas.
    More Details Hide Details These works were first exhibited by Eleanor Ward at the Stable Gallery in 1955, but they received little public acclaim apart from a good review from Greenberg.
  • 1953
    Age 44
    From 1953 to 1954, she created smaller sized collage paintings that were composed of fragments of undesired works.
    More Details Hide Details Some of the discarded works she used were splatter paintings completed by Pollock. Many scholars have expressed different interpretations about why she used Pollock's unwanted canvases. Some assert that she simultaneously demonstrated her admiration for his art while also recontextualizing his aggressive physicality through manipulating his images into a collage format. Others believe that she was creating a sense of intimacy between the two artists, which was lacking in their relationship by this time period, by combining their works together.
  • 1951
    Age 42
    From 1951 to 1953, most of her works are made from ripped drawings completed in black ink or wash in a figurative manner.
    More Details Hide Details By ripping the paper instead of cutting it, the edges of the figures are much more soft in comparison to the geometric and hard-edged shapes in her previous works.
    To create these images, Krasner pasted cut and torn shapes onto all but two of the large-scale color field paintings she created for the Betty Parson's exhibition in 1951.
    More Details Hide Details This period marks the time when Krasner stopped working on an easel since she created these works by lying the support on the floor. To make these images, she would pin the separate pieces to a canvas and modify the composition until she was satisfied. She then would paste the fragments on the canvas and add color with a brush when desired. Most of the collage paintings she created recall plant or organic forms but do not completely resemble a living organism. By using many different materials, she was able to create texture and prevent the image from being entirely flat. The act of tearing and cutting elements for the collage embodies Krasner's expression since these acts are aggressive. She explored contrasts of light and dark colors, hard and soft lines, organic and geometric shapes, and structure and improvisation through these collages. These collage paintings represent Krasner's turn away from nonobjective abstraction. From this period onwards, she created metaphorical and content-laden art which alludes to organic figures or landscapes.
    By 1951, Krasner started her first series of collage paintings.
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  • 1950
    Age 41
    There is evidence that she began experimenting with automatic painting and created black and white hybridized, monstrous figures on large canvases in 1950.
    More Details Hide Details These were the paintings that Betty Parsons saw when she visited The Springs that summer, causing Parsons to offer Krasner a show for the fall. Between the summer and the fall, Krasner again had shifted her style to color field painting and destroyed the figurative automatic paintings she made. The Betty Parsons show was the first solo exhibition Krasner displayed her works at since 1945. After the exhibition, Krasner used the color field paintings to make her collage paintings.
  • 1949
    Age 40
    When she completed the Little Image series in 1949, Krasner again went through a critical phase with her work.
    More Details Hide Details She tried out and rejected many new styles and eventually destroyed most of the work she made in the early 1950s.
    She created around forty of these types of paintings until 1949.
    More Details Hide Details They are commonly categorized as mosaic, webbed, or hieroglyphs depending on the style of the image. The mosaic images were created through the thick buildup of paint while her webbed paintings were made through a drip technique in which the paintbrush was always close to the surface of the canvas. Since she used a drip technique in creating her webbed images, many critics believed upon seeing this work for the first time that she copied and domesticated Pollock's chaotic paint splatters. Her hieroglyph paintings are gridded and look like an unreadable, personal script of Krasner's creation. These works demonstrate her anti-figurative concerns, allover approach to the canvas, gestural brushwork, and disregard of naturalistic color. They have little variation of color but are very rich in texture due to the buildup of impasto and also suggest space continuing beyond the canvas. These were her first successful images she created while working from her own imagination rather than a model. The relatively small scale of the images can be attributed to the fact she painted them on an easel in her small studio space in an upstairs bedroom at The Springs.
  • 1946
    Age 37
    Beginning in 1946, Krasner began working on her Little Image series.
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  • 1945
    Age 36
    In the fall of 1945, Krasner destroyed many of her cubist works she created during her studies with Han Hofmann, although the majority of paintings created from 1938 to 1943 survived this reevaluation.
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  • 1942
    Age 33
    Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock established a relationship with one another in 1942 after they both exhibited at the McMillen Gallery.
    More Details Hide Details Krasner was intrigued by his work and the fact she did not know who he was since she knew many abstract painters in New York. She went to his apartment to meet him. By 1945, they moved to The Springs on the outskirts of East Hampton. In the summer of that year, they got married in a church with two witnesses present. While the two lived in the farmhouse in The Springs, they both continued creating art. They worked in separate studio spaces on their property. Krasner worked in an upstairs bedroom in the house while Pollock worked in the barn in their backyard. When they were not working, the two spent their time cooking, baking, gardening, keeping the house organized, and entertaining friends.
    She was highly affected by seeing Pollock's work for the first time in 1942, causing her to reject Hofmann's cubist style which required working from a human or still life model.
    More Details Hide Details She called the work produced during this frustrating time her "grey slab paintings." She would create these paintings by working on a canvas for months, overpainting, scraping paint off, rubbing paint off, and adding more paint until the canvas was nearly monochrome from so much paint build up. She eventually would destroy these works, which is why there is only one painting that exists from this time period. Krasner's extensive knowledge of cubism was the source of her creative problem since she needed her work to be more expressive and gestural to be considered contemporary and relevant.
  • 1935
    Age 26
    It eventually became too difficult for Krasner to support herself as a waitress due to the Great Depression. In order to provide for herself, she joined the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project in 1935.
    More Details Hide Details She worked on the mural division as an assistant to Max Spivak. Her job was to enlarge other artists' designs for large-scaled public murals. Since murals were created to be easily understood and appreciated by the general public, the abstract art Krasner produced was undesirable for murals. While Krasner was happy to have a job, she was dissatisfied since she did not like working with figurative images created by other artists. Throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s, she created gouache sketches in the hopes of one day creating an abstract mural. As soon as one of her proposals for a mural was approved for the WYNC radio station, the Works Progress Administration turned into War Services and all art had to be created for war propaganda. She continued working for War Services by creating collages for the war effort which were displayed in the windows of nineteen department stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan.> She was very involved with the Artists Union during her employment with the WPA but was one of the first to quit the organization when she realized the communists were taking it over. By being part of this organization, she was able to meet more artists in New York City and enlarge her network.
  • 1929
    Age 20
    Krasner was highly influenced by the opening of the Museum of Modern Art in 1929.
    More Details Hide Details She was very affected by post-impressionism and grew critical of the academic notions of style she had learned at the National Academy. In the 1930s, she began studying modern art through learning the components of composition, technique, and theory. This initial investigation into modern art formed her work throughout the rest of her career. She began taking classes from Hans Hofmann in 1937, which modernized her approach to the nude and still life. He emphasized the two-dimensional nature of the picture plane and usage color to create spatial illusion that was not representative of reality through his lessons. Throughout her classes with Hofmann, Krasner worked in an advanced style of cubism, also known as neo-cubism. During the class, a human nude or a still life setting would be the model from which Krasner and other students would have to work. She typically created charcoal drawings of the human models and oil on paper color studies of the still life settings. She typically illustrated female nudes in a cubist manner with tension achieved through the fragmentation of forms and the opposition of light and dark colors. The still lifes illustrated her interest in fauvism since she suspended brightly colored pigment on white backgrounds.
  • 1928
    Age 19
    She also briefly enrolled in the Art Students League of New York in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details Here, she took a class led by George Bridgman who emphasized the human form.
    By 1928, she enrolled in the National Academy of Design.
    More Details Hide Details By attending a technical art school, Krasner was able to gain an extensive and thorough artistic education as illustrated through her knowledge of the techniques of the Old Masters. She also became highly skilled in portraying anatomically correct figures. There are relatively few works that survive from this time period apart from a few self-portraits and still lifes since most of the works were burned in a fire. One of the images that still exists from this time period is her "Self Portrait" painted in 1930. She submitted it to the National Academy in order to enroll in a certain class, but the judges could not believe that the young artist produced a self-portrait en plein air. In it, she depicts herself with a defiant expression surrounded by nature.
  • 1908
    Krasner was born as Lena Krassner (outside the family she was known as Lenore Krasner) on October 27, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York.
    More Details Hide Details Krasner was the daughter of Chane (née Weiss) and Joseph Krasner. Her parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants, from Shpykiv, a Jewish community in what is now Ukraine. Her parents fled to the United States to escape anti-Semitism and the Russo-Japanese War. Her mother Chane changed her name to Anna once she arrived in America. Lee was the fourth of five children, including her sister, Ruth, and the first who was born in America. She was the only one of her siblings to be born in the United States. From an early age, Krasner knew she wanted to pursue art as a career. Krasner's career as an artist began when she was a teenager. She specifically sought out enrollment at Washington Irving High School for Girls since they offered an art major. After graduating from high school, she attended the Women's Art School of Cooper Union on a scholarship. Here, she completed the course work required for a teaching certificate in art. Krasner pursued yet more art education at the illustrious National Academy of Design, completing her course load there in 1932.
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