Harry van Kruiningen, a pseudonym for Henry Adelbert Janssen, was born in Hansweert in 1906. Because his father died when he was eight he aborted his education and started work as a baker. During the course of a year, he followed classes in the evening at the Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs in Amsterdam, currently the Rietveld Academie.
At the age of 21, Van Kruiningen received an inheritance, from which he could afford to go to a private art education at the Instituut Piersma to become a drawing teacher. After his graduation, he worked the rest of his life as a free artist, for which he adopted the name Harry van Kruiningen. In 1930 he had his first exhibitions and his illustrations were printed in children’s books.
During the Second World War Van Kruiningen, already a member of the SDAP and the Communistische Jeugdbond De Zaaier, joined the resistance group led by communist Daan Goulooze. There, together with Ger Gerrits, he produced fake identity papers on a litho press he bought for his own in 1936. After the war, Van Kruiningen specialised in lithography and other press techniques later on, and only very occasionally painted anymore.
Before the war, Van Kruiningen was a member of De Onafhankelijken and the Socialistische Kunstenaars Kring. After 1945 he joined the Vakgroep van Grafici en Tekenaars, where he served as a secretary for years. In 1946, together with Willy Boers, he founded the group 12 Schilders. The next year he was a co-founder and secretary of Vrij Beelden. Van Kruiningen is even supposed to have invented the name. After the dissolvement of Vrij Beelden in 1955, he became a member of the Liga Nieuw Beelden. From 1958 until 1971 he was also a teacher in Graphic Techniques at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem.
Harry van Kruiningen died in Laren on June 30, 1996.