Israel Volper (1888-1985) was born in Starokonstantin in what is now Ukraine. His father, Mier Volper settled in Cleveland, Ohio in 1890, and he came to the United States at the age of 6 with his mother and two sisters in 1894. He studied art in Cleveland at the Huntington Polytechnic Institute and the Art Institute of Chicago . He spent the major part of his life here as a colleague and friend to important artists in Cleveland over the years , and is represented in permanent and private collections across the country. He has exhibited locally at the May Shows which were once an annual event at the Cleveland Museum of Art, at the Jewish Community Center and at regional and national exhibitions.
On his return to Cleveland from Chicago, he
started a commercial art
studio with a partner, and in the 1920's he purchased the Horton Printing
Company, which he operated until it failed during the great depression in
He then went back into commercial art, and was a pioneer in the development and production of hand engraved rubber printing plates for letterpress.
The studio closed during World War II as all of his employees had joined the armed services. He then taught art at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland until the death of his wife Anne in 1960. At age 72 he was gramted a Huntington Hartford Resident Fellowship where he was furnished with a studio and lived with many prominent artists and musicians at their institute in Pacific Palisades California. He won the same grant at age 75, and produced some of his finest works at that time.
He later settled and maintained a studio in Coconut Grove in the Miami area, where he met and married his second wife Pat, also an artist, who was 19 years his junior. After her death in 1974 he returned to Cleveland and continued painting until his sight failed when he was in his 90's.