Michael Ponce de Leon Biography

Michael Ponce de Leon




Michael Ponce de Leon, painter, printmaker, cartoonist, and educator, was born to Manuel and Joan (Cobos) Ponce de Leon in Miami, Florida on 4 July 1922. He grew up in Mexico City where he studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and received his B.A. from the University of Mexico City. After serving in the United State Army Air Force during World Ward II, he moved to New York where he studied at the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and the School of the Brooklyn Museum.

He was a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and served as treasurer of the organization in 1968 and was also a member of the Association of American University Professors. Ponce de Leon taught at Vassar College, 1953; Pratt Graphic Art Center, 1957-1971; Cooper Union, 1962-1967; Hunter College, 1959-1966; Art Students League, 1966-1986; California State College, 1969; Hayward State College, 1970; Columbia University, 1972; and New York University, 1976-1977.

Ponce de Leon received more than sixty-five medals and awards including a Tiffany Foundation grant in 1955, a Fulbright Grant in 1956, and a Guggenheim Foundation grant in 1967. His work is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum; the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand.

Michael Ponce de Leon died in Mexico on January 23, 2006.