Suzanne Hodes was born in 1939 and grew up in New YorkCity. She attended Radcliffe College and while there, her mentor, Agnes Mongan, recommended that she study with George Grosz at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture which she did during the summers of 1957-58. The following year she transferred to Brandeis to major in studio art. In the summer of 1959 Hodes traveled to Salzburg, Austria to study with Oskar Kokoschka who greatly influenced her work. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in 1962, Hodes was awarded a Fullbright scholarship to study in Paris.