Abraham Leon Kroll was born in New York City, and studied at the Art Students League. While attending the National Academy of Design in 1903, Kroll was awarded a scholarship to study painting in Europe. When his painting of a female nude won a Grand Prix prize in Paris in 1908, Leon Kroll began a career of portraying nude or semi-nude women in naturalistic settings, particularly in and around the several stone quarry pools in Rockport.
Leon Kroll first visited Gloucester in 1912, and often returned to Cape Ann during the summer months, where he and his Parisian wife, Genevieve-Marie, lived in Folly Cove. Their neighbors were fellow artists Virginia Lee Burton and her sculptor husband, George Demetrios, and other sculptors, Paul Manship and Walter Hancock. Kroll died in Gloucester at 90 years old, and he is buried in the Locust Grove Cemetery.
Kroll’s work can be seen in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.