Rolph Scarlett was born in Canada to a very artistic family. He studied at the Art Student League in NYC briefly and then traveled to Europe where he became inspired by artist Paul Klee. Soon Scarlett abandoned his figurative style for Abstract works of art. He was a major printer and jewelry designer during the avant-garde movement of the 1930’s and 1940’s. By 1953, the Guggenheim Museum owned nearly sixty of his paintings. From 1940 to 1946, Scarlett was the chief lecturer at the Guggenheim Museum of Art.