Benjamin Creme was born in Glasgow to an Irish mother and a Russian-Jewish father. He studied briefly at the Glasgow School of Art but his parents did not encourage his interest in art. At the age of seventeen he held a joint exhibition with a friend at a Trade Union club in Glasgow. The refugee artist Josef Herman visited it and took the influential ‘Scottish Colourist’ artist John Duncan Fergusson along to see it. Word of the prodigy student spread. The Polish refugee artist Jankel Adler became a close friend after his arrival in the city in 1941 and the major influence on Creme’s early work. In 1946 Creme moved to London where he became part of a group which included the Scottish artists Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde. Later on, Creme became celebrated as a prophet and spiritual leader, writing and lecturing about UFOs, mysticism, telepathy and Theosophy.