Born in Rochester, New York, Emile Albert Gruppe spent much of his youth in the Netherlands where his father, the artist Charles Gruppe, had a studio and art gallery. The family returned to the States in 1913. Gruppe studied at the National Academy in New York and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. He finally settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts at the Cape Ann artist’s colony. He ran an art school there from 1940 to 1970.