Simka Simkhovitch was born in Petrograd, Ukraine, on May 21, 1893. He studied art at the Odessa Art School from age 15 to 20, then continued his education at the Royal Academy of St. Petersburg. His talent was so highly regarded that, upon graduation in 1918, he was selected by the students to teach drawing and painting at the Royal Academy. During his time in Russia he won an award from the new Soviet government for a painting on a revolutionary theme. His works are to this day included in two museums in Petrograd.
The reasons for his emigration to the United States in 1924 are unclear, but he arrived in New York that year, barely able to speak a word of English. He started to earn his living
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