American sculptor George Kratina was of Czech descent and was trained by his father at the Sculptors Guild. He then studied at Syracuse University and in Yale. In 1938, one of his early sculptures won the Prix de Roma and he later completed his studies with the associated scholarship in Roma. He worked as a design and sculpture professor at Cooper Union in New York City and later became a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he taught sculpture and design to engineering and architecture students. Kratina created large sculptures in wood, bronze, enameled steel, and aluminum. Kratina was the same artist as the American sculptor listed in the catalog as K. George in 1932. Crew member was obviously the portrait of a rower, because Kratina was a successful rower himself even at his universities.