Born in New York City in 1918, Irving Amen did not confine himself to that city for inspiration. While he apparently grew up there and studied in Brooklyn at the Pratt Institute, the Second World War took him to Europe. He was with the armed forces from 1942 to 1945. He apparently painted some murals both in the United States and in Belgium during those years. While based in the New York area most of his life, he traveled to study and work in a variety of other places, from Paris to Italy, and from Greece to Turkey and Israel. He exhibited his paintings and prints frequently in the United States. His subjects are varied, but figures and buildings dominate. Jewish religious texts were a frequent source of inspiration. He did however mostly depict women and children in all manner of activities, such as performing music. But a diversity of other subjects, such as chess playing of Italian cityscapes, also dot his oeuvre. Amen passed away in 2011.