Jose De Creeft was born in Guadalajara, Spain in 1884. Interested in sculpture as a child, De Creeft made and sold works in the streets as a teenager. De Creeft left for Paris in 1905, studying briefly at the Academie Julian.
He emigrated to America in 1929 with his reputation as a direct carver already secure and had his first solo exhibition at Feragil Galleries in New York. De Creeft was also a teacher of sculpture in New York City at the New School of Social Research, 1932-39; the Art Students League, 1944-48; and Black Mountain College, the summer of 1944. De Creeft earned United States citizenship in 1940.
His works are in the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, and many other public and private collections.