Glen E. Alps, printmaker and educator, was born on 20 June 1914 in Loveland, Colorado. He attended Colorado State College of Education (today University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1940. Alps began teaching in the Art Department of the University of Washington while he was still a graduate student. In 1947 the chairman of the department, Walter F. Jacobs, invited Alps to teach classes in watercolor and design as an acting associate of the school. He soon began teaching printmaking, as well. After graduation Alps' teaching career at the University of Washington continued and he received tenure in 1954 and became a full professor in 1962. He was named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 1984.
Beginning in the 1950s Alps became nationally and internationally known for his innovations in printmaking and for the development of unique matrices. Alps was one of the first artists to exhibit a “collagraph,” a term he coined, in 1957 at the Brooklyn Museum. Since that time, the technique has been absorbed into the mainstream of printmaking. Other experiments included burnt lacquer and vitreographs (prints pulled from glass plates) on which he collaborated with glass artist and printer Harvey Littleton.