Painter and printmaker Benjamin Kopman was born in Vitebsk, Russia., and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1903. In 1905 Kopman enrolled at the National Academy of Art where he remained for 6 semesters. His first major exhibition was at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1914, followed by several others during the 1920s. Kopman worked for the WPA as an artist during the Depression and had solo exhibitions in the late 1930s and 1940s. His paintings and prints are distinctive for their primitive character and their use of heavy black outlines that suggest the influence of Rousseau and Roualt.
Kopman’s work is held in the collections of many institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.