Maurice Molarsky was born in Kiev in the Ukraine on May 25, 1881. In 1892 he emigrated from England, by way of Hamburg, with his parents Hyman and Fanny Molarsky and his brother Abram. The family settled in Philadelphia and in 1889 Maurice began studying painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He won the Academy's scholarship for study abroad in 1905. That year, he and his brother Abram left for Paris. Upon returning to Philadelphia in 1906, Maurice launched his career as a successful portrait painter. In 1917 Maurice and Abram both showed at the Corcoran Gallery, alongside their contemporaries Childe Hassam, George Bellows, Edmund Tarbell, George Luks and William Merritt Chase. Two years earlier, Maurice's painting "Reflections" had won the Silver Medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The two Molarsky brothers also showed their paintings in many other shows including the annual exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.