Born in 1909, Jacob Kainen moved to New York at a young age and studied at the Art Students League. He graduated from Pratt Institute. Associated with William de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Stuart Davis, Kainen worked with a wide range of subjects employing various styles and media.
From 1935 to 1942, Kainen was a printmaker with the New York City WPA. Eventually, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as the curator of the Smithsonian’s graphic arts division. He also served six years as the curator of prints and drawings for the National Collection of Fine Arts. A pioneer of color lithography, Kainen was a leader of the Washington Color School. He was the subject of more than 25 one-man shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions.
“Bright Sound”, a print that was commissioned in Kainen’s 80th year is an abstract work using mixed media. He produced the lithographic portion of “Bright Sound” in five colors with David Adamson and Jack Brumbaugh. He then applied three additional colors by woodcut and finished with some hand coloring.