Frederic Taubes was a painter and printmaker, who was born in Lwow, Poland and fled with his family to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War. Private lessons in prewar Poland formed the foundation of his art education. In Vienna, he enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Art where he studied under Franz von Stuck. At war's end, he continued his studies at the Academy in Munich under Max Doerner. Taubes became interested in the new art forms arising from the turmoil occasioned by the dislocations of the recent war. During the 1920s, Taubes experimented with several styles and worked as an itinerant portrait painter. In the early 1930s, Taubes settled permanently in New York, where he became a highly successful society portrait artist and achieved the recognition and respect worthy of his talents. He spent 1942 as the Carnegie visiting professor of art and resident painter at the University of Illinois in Urbana, where he studied materials used in 14th and 15th century Flemish paintings. He wrote several important books and articles during this period which led to a series of lectures at the invitation of Oxford University and the Royal Society of Art. Taubes taught at Mills College during the summer of 1939.