JACOB KAINEN (b. 1909, Waterbury, CT; d. 2001, Catonsville, MD) grew up in a home that supported creativity and the arts. When the family moved to New York in 1918, Kainen frequented the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to feed his interests. After graduating high school at 16, he entered classes at the Art Students League, where he gained his first interest in printmaking. He was accepted to Pratt, and due to his less commercial and more progressive style, he was expelled from institute three weeks before his graduation.
In the 1930s he participated in the Works Progress Administration’s graphic arts program, and also befriend Arshile Gorky: a friendship that greatly influenced his work. In 1942, Kainen moved to Washington, DC to become the curator of the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian’s U. S. National Museum (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum), a position he held until 1970, when he retired to paint full time.
Kainen was an influential teacher in DC, teaching at the Washington Workshop Center—where he introduced Ken Noland to Morris Louis—and American University.
1961—Review and Preview, May 22—June 4
1961—The Year Ahead, Oct. 3—Nov. 4
1961—Paper Show, Dec. 5—Jan. 5, 1962
1962—Small Paintings and Sculpture, Jan. 7–27
1968—Jefferson Place Ten Years, July 16–Aug. 7