Born in New York City in 1918, Irving Amen began drawing at the age of four and by the time he was fourteen years old, he had won a scholarship to the Pratt Institute. He served with the Armed Forces from 1942 to 1945. Amen headed a mural project and executed murals in the United States and Belgium. His first exhibition was a the New School for Social Research in New York and his second was held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. in 1949. His 1960 retrospective at the Artist’s House in Jerusalem resulted from his travels throughout Israel, Greece and Turkey.
After 1960 Amen studied in Paris where he had one-man shows in painting, woodcut and sculpture. Amen taught sculpture and printmaking at the Pratt Institute in 1961 and at Notre Dame University in 1962. He is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, the International Society of Wood Engravers and the Audubon Artists.