Born in Brooklyn in 1898, Alexander Brook contracted polio at the age of 12 and was bedridden for almost a year. After his illness he decided to be a painter and pursued his education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which he visited every week, and later at the Art Students League. He was one of New York’s leading figurative painters during the 1930s. His landscapes, portraits, and genre scenes are characterized by subdued colors and strong shapes. In 1948 he moved from Savannah to Sag Harbor with his third wife, Gina Knee, and remained there for the rest of his life. After a 1952 exhibition at the Knoedler Gallery in New York, Brook withdrew from active involvement in the art world and, feeling his realist style was out of fashion, gave up painting altogether in 1966. He died in 1980.