James Irza Arnold was born in Warners, Onondaga County, New York on June 26, 1887, to parents Frederick William Arnold, a farmer, and Laura Ellen Watts Arnold, a former schoolteacher. Irza attended local schools and received further education at Syracuse University. He was taken under the wing of an uncle, Albert Heppenstall, designer and architect. Irza moved to New York City and eventually opened his own design firm with a partner, Arnold and North, which specialized in lamp fixtures and fireplace mantles.
Irza was interested in, and adept at pen and ink drawing and in etching. He produced two series of etchings during the late 1920's through the 1940's. One series of etchings entitled the "New York series" contained various Manhattan landmarks, such as Radio City Music Hall, as one example. The second series, entitled "The Vanishing America series" was concerned with the various bucolic scenes of his upstate New York, such as covered bridges, stump fences, dirt roads, old barns and farmhouses.
Irza was married to Anna Caroline Mundlein and had six children, three sons and three daughters. He died in Hudson, Columbia County, New York on February 18, 1965.
Submitted by the artist's granddaughter, Lida Perfetto.