Born and raised in the poor Lower East Side of Manhattan, Harold Baumbach was a self-taught painter and printmaker. He began to exhibit his art during the later 1930's. These early works were mainly figurative paintings of New York and Brooklyn street scenes and interiors. During his long and successful career, Harold Baumbach produced both figurative and abstract works of art.
Sometimes critics described his art as that of an 'Intimist,' but it always remained distinctly individualistic. Even in his most abstract compositions people or figures were always present, acting as stylistic images in which to explore relations of space, form and color.
Although belonging to no school of art, Harold Baumbach was both a friend and working companion to artists such as Milton Avery and Mark Rothko. He was also an influential instructor of painting techniques at Brooklyn College, New York, from 1946 to 1966. In total, the art of Harold Baumbach was the subject of over twenty-four one man exhibitions in New York and Brooklyn.