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Frank Cohen Kirk

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Frank Cohen Kirk

(Zitomir, Russia, 1889 - 1963, New York City, NY)

Born in Zitomir, Russia, Kirk immigrated to the United States as a boy. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and is widely exhibited artist. Frank Cohen Kirk was a representational artist active during the period between the two world wars. After his exile from Russia in 1906 because of his political activities, Kirk wandered through Europe for four years. From 1910 to 1929 he lived in Philadelphia, where he participated in the Graphic Sketch Club and attended the Industrial Arts School and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, studying there with HUGH H. BRECKENRIDGE, Daniel Garber (1880-1958), and PHILIP L. HALE. He traveled on scholarship to Europe in 1925 to study paintings by Ignacio Zuloaga (1870-1945) and the work of the old masters. He returned to Philadelphia and later established his studio in New York. Kirk was instrumental in organizing exhibitions of works by Jewish artists on a local and then international level. In the late 1920s he painted murals for theaters. His frequent travels throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, and the Holy Land provided him with diverse subjects for his art. In 1927 he visited the coal-mining area of Pennsylvania and produced powerfully moving paintings of miners. He became best known for his figure paintings dignifying laborers and the common man. He also often exhibited still lifes, floral arrangements, and landscapes. Kirk showed extensively throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic seaboard and was a member of numerous associations, such as the Brooklyn Society of Artists, the Copley Society, Grand Central Art Galleries, the National Academy of Design, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and the Society of Independent Artists. His art was conservative, never diverging far from his academic training.

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