Born in Elgin, Illinois on September 11, 1902, Kenneth George Shopen was the son of a watchmaker. He began as a staff writer for the Elgin Daily News in 1920 but a year later he enrolled at the University of Illinois as an English major. He graduated in 1925 and then entered the School of the University of Illinois on a full-time scholarship. After graduation Shopen was hired as a part-time art teacher at Chicago's Latin School for Boys. This led to another position at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1931 where he remained for the next fourteen years. He was active in the Art Institute's annual exhibitions between 1931 and 1949. Also in the 1930s he took part in various groups dedicated to the a
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