Abel Warshawsky was born in Pennsylvania on December 28, 1883, although he grew up in Cleveland and started his career there. He studied with Louis Rorimer at the Cleveland Art Institute, with additional work at the Art Students League, and the National Academy of Design, the latter two institutions in New York City, where Warshawsky went in 1905. The artist traveled to Paris in 1908, where he met Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Signac and Auguste Renoir, as well as American artists Winslow Homer, Leon Kroll, Hugo Robus and William Zorach. He returned to Cleveland in 1910, where he was a member of the Cincinnati Art Club and taught with William Sommer. Despite his return to Cleveland, he maintained a studio in Paris for thirty years, and was quite active in the art world there. He traveled often through France and Italy, returning on a yearly basis to the United States to sell his work.
As a son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, the outbreak of World War II made it necessary for Warshawsky to return to the States permanently. Upon his return, he settled on the Monterey Peninsula and was active in the Carmel Art Association. According to Edan Milton Hughes, Warshawsky referred to himself as a “classical impressionist.” The artist died in Monterey on 31 May 1962. Abel Warshawsky has five paintings in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as work in the Minneapolis Art Institute, Minnesota; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; and the Luxembourg Museum, Paris, France.