Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) was born in New York, son of two German musicians and intended by them to be a violinist. After being sent to Germany to study music, he turned to art and moved to Paris, becoming strongly influenced by Cubism. He developed a form of "architectural cubism", depicting overlapping geometric planes of colour in both watercolours and oils. Feininger exhibited with the Blaue Reiter in 1913, and was one of the four founding teachers at the Bauhaus, remaining until it was closed down in 1933.
Having already exhibited in the United States, Feininger returned to New York in 1937, setting up his own school there in which he taught until his death.