1884 - 1974
Leon Kroll was one of this country’s most productive and successful artists of the 20th century. A well-regarded teacher and the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions during his life time, Kroll was also a central figure in Cape Ann’s summer art colony for many years.
Kroll was born in New York City and studied at the Art Students League under John Twatchman and at the National Academy of Design. Between 1908 and 1910, Kroll studied in Paris at the Académie Julian; during these years, Kroll discovered Paul Cezanne, the influences of whom are readily apparent in early works such as this one. Upon returning to America, Kroll’s work was exhibited in 1913 at the Amory Show. By the 1920s he had begun teaching, at the National Academy of Design and at the Art Institute of Chicago.
During the 1930s, Leon Kroll and his wife Genevieve (whom he had met in France) began spending time in Gloucester’s Folly Cove neighborhood, not far from the Babson Farm Quarry (known today as Halibut Point). In 1944 they purchased a property there, and for the rest of their lives divided their time between Cape Ann and New York City. The Krolls and their daughter, Marie-Claude, quickly formed friendships with many of the other artists living and working in the area including Paul Manship, Walker Hancock, Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios and George Demetrios.