Louise Nevelson was born in Kyiv which was part of the Russian Empire in 1899. Her family settled in Rockland, Maine in 1905; her father operated a lumberyard. Nevelson grew up playing with scraps from the lumberyard. Nevelson knew by the early age of ten that she had desired to be a professional sculptor. In 1920, she married wealthy ship owner Charles Nevelson and moved to New York. The marriage did not last, and they separated in the early 1930s. She studied at the Art Students League. In 1931–32, Nevelson studied with abstract painter Hans Hofmann in Munich and later New York. Through Hofmann, she discovered Cubism and collage, which greatly influenced her artistic style. Nevelson also worked as an assistant to Diego Rivera on a mural project. Nevelson had her first solo exhibition at the Nierendorf Gallery in New York in 1941. Nevelson developed her signature monochromatic, spray-painted wooden assemblages in the late 1950s. A 1958 exhibition of Nevelson’s all-black environments caused a sensation in New York. She showed at MoMA in 1959–60. Nevelson was a later bloomer as she had been working actively as an artist for decades, but it was not into her sixties until her reputation really began to soar. Nevelson had a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum in the 1960s. In subsequent years, Nevelson received six honorary doctorates and continued to exhibit her work regularly in Europe and the United States. Her work is in the collections of MoMA, Whitney, Metropolitan, Smithsonian, Tate Modern, and Walker Art Center.