Born Georg Ehrenfried Gross in 1893 in Berlin, Germany, Grosz changed his name in a form of anti-nationalist protest. After studying at the Dresden Academy of Art, Grosz moved to Berlin and began to develop his work from observation for the first time, specifically café culture and nightlife. After his time as a solider in World War I, his work turned increasingly towards social critique and left wing pacifist activity. Many of his drawings were critical and satirical of the government and what he described as the decay of German society. To avoid Nazi persecution for his “degenerate” art, Grosz moved to America shortly before Hitler seized power. In America Grosz began to teach art, while his style transitioned from politicized depictions to images of the inhabitants of New York City and wistful, romantic landscapes. His art was considered as instrumental in raising awareness to German citizens of the realities of government oppression.