Lady of the Lake
Irving Amen (07/25/1918- ) was born in New York City. He was considered a prodigy, beginning drawing at age four, and at the age of fourteen he won a scholarship to The Pratt Institute. He later studied in Florence and Rome. Amen spent seven years in Life Classes, perfecting his artistic study of the human body, aspiring to emulate his hero, Michelangelo. He returned to the United States prepared to be a mural painter. Upon discovering how limited this field was, he turned to printmaking, particularly woodcut. Amen's first exhibitions took place at the New School for Social Research, New York, in 1948, and The Smithsonian Institute, 1949. Both exhibits were composed of woodcuts, although he also gained notoriety in the areas of painting, sculpture, and printmaking. All of his later work is characterized by a deep humanitarianism and hopeful optimism, in contrast to his earlier pieces which were often more somber in tone. His works are in the collections of numerous museums including the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He won the Frank Hartley Anderson Prize of the Society of American Graphic Artists in 1950, a Library of Congress Purchase Award in 1951, First Prize at the Audubon Artists in 1956 and the Fleisher Memorial Purchase Prize at the Pennsylvannia Academy of the Fine Arts in 1957.