Peggy Bacon was illustrator, painter, printmaker and writer. Bacon was known for her humorous and satirical etchings and drawings. Shhe was a ‘people person’ with a wide range of friends and acquaintances. She often depicted the more prominent personalities in caricatures..
Bacon's artist parents moved frequently: Connecticut, New York, Nassau, Bermuda. France. As a result, Bacon had tutors for Latin, Greek, mythology, ancient history and geography of the ancient world - an conventional but "absolutely delightful" childhood.
Bacon early artistic interests were encouraged and supported by her parents, but not until 1913 did she study art at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts with classes in illustration and life drawing.
From 1915-1920 Bacon studied painting with Kenneth Hayes Miller, John Sloan and George Bellows at the Art Students League. In 1917 Bacon taught herself drypoint as there was no one teaching etching at the Art Students League at the time. Her first were featured in single-issue, satirical magazine Bad News, which was published by Bacon and fellow art students in 1918. Those were formative years at the League and developed an eye to the inhabitants of the urban environment.
She married American painter Alexander Brook in 1920. They divided their time between Greenwich Village in New York City and Woodstock, New York. After 20 years of marriage and two children, Bacon and her husband divorced in 1940.
Bacon, in 1919, at the age of 24, wrote and illustrated her first book, The True Philosopher and Other Cat Tales. She went on to illustrate over 60 books, 19 of which she also wrote, including a successful mystery book, The Inward Eye, which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe award in 1952 for best novel. Bacon's popular drawings appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker, New Republic, Fortune, and Vanity Fair and she exhibited in galleries and museums frequently, including over thirty solo exhibitions at Montross Gallery, Alfred Stieglitz's Intimate Gallery, and the Downtown Gallery, all in New York. In 1934 Bacon was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for creative work in the graphic arts. During her time as a fellow she completed 35 satirical portraits of art world figures for a collection called Off With Their Heads!, which was published that same year by Robert M. McBride & Company. In 1942 she was granted an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1980 the Academy awarded her a gold medal for her lifelong contribution to illustration and graphic art. In December 1975, the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the National Museum of American Art, honored Bacon with a yearlong retrospective exhibition,"Peggy Bacon: Personalities and Places."
In addition to her artistic career, Bacon taught extensively during the 1930s and 1940s at various institutions, including the Fieldston School, the Art Students League, Hunter College, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, and summers at the School of Music and Art in Stowe, Vermont.
Black crayon c.1932
10 1/4 x 14 1/2 inches (26.0 x 36.8cm)
See: “Clams and Clodhoppers” Flint 113