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Alexander Brook, born in Brooklyn, studied at the Art Students League in New York with Kenneth Hayes Miller from 1914 to 1918. A critic for The Arts during the early 1920s, he became an assistant for the newly-founded Whitney Studio Club in 1924. It was at this time that he began to paint in earnest, traveling and exhibiting widely with his first wife, the artist Peggy Bacon; the two were members of the Woodstock art colony. During the Depression, Brook taught at the League and won several fellowships and important prizes, enjoying broad success.