Before he was fifteen, Simon knew that he wanted to be an artist. He went daily to the National Academy of Design. He then spent two years at the New York Academy of Arts and drawing for New York newspapers. By the time he was seventeen, he had saved enough money to go to Paris to live and study art for five years. Simon studied for several years under Jacques Alexander at Académie Julian in Paris.
Simon’s career began in earnest in Paris, where he made drawings of the beggars living under the bridges. He learned his woodblock technique from Japanese instructors. During the 1920s and 1930s, Howard Jacob Simon was a nationally celebrated painter in oils and watercolors and an illustrator in sketches and woodcut prints
Oil on board, 1946
59x48 cm, signed, dated lower right