Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1948. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962, where he went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his MFA from The Yale University School of Art. Morell has also received honorary degrees from Bowdoin College in 1997, and Lesley University in 2014.

He has been the recipient of a number of awards and grants, which include a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994, and an Infinity Award in Art from the International Center of Photography in 2011. In November 2017, he received a Lucie Award for achievement in fine art.

Morell’s work has been collected and and exhibited by institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; The Art Institute of Chicago; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and many others in the United States and abroad. Morell lives and works in Boston.