Joseph Vogel moved with his family to Poland as a young boy. The family immigrated to the United States in 1927, settling in New York. Vogel studied at the National Academy of Design from 1929 through 1932. Passionate and idealistic, he was active in the politics of art and was a founding member of the American Artists Union in 1931. In 1933 he studied at the Art Students League, and he worked with Ben Shahn and Lou Block on a mural painting at Riker’s Island under the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration in 1934 and 1935. In 1935 Vogel became a member of the FAP graphic arts division, remaining there until 1938. The artist produced his entire oeuvre of about twenty prints, including the well-known Solicitations, during the late 1930s in New York. Vogel contributed to the color lithography project led by Gustave von Groschwitz and Ruseell Limbach in 1935 and 1936. As an Artists Union activist, Vogel went to Spain in 1937 to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and fith against the Fascists. He returned to New York and to his artistic career in 1938; his first one-man show was at the New School for Social Research soon after his arrival. He became a member of both the National Society of Mural Painters and the Mural Artists Guild in that year. In 1939 he exhibited prints at the New York World’s Fair and the Whitney Museum Invitational Exhibition, to which he contributed for several years. In that year Vogel went to Mexico, to experience firsthand the charged, creative environment of the populist mural painters Diego Rivera and José Orozco.