biography of Peggy BACON (1895-1987)

Birth place: Ridgefield, CT

Death place: Kennebunk, ME

Addresses: NYC/Cross River, NY, 1940; Cape Porpoise, ME, from at least 1966

Profession: Printmaker, painter, illustrator, writer, poet, educator, teacher

Studied: N.Y. School of Appl. Des. for Women; Jonas Lie's summer landscape school, 1913; Howard Giles, 1914-15; Provincetown, MA, with Andrew Dasburg and B.J.O. Nordfelt, summers, 1915-17; ASL, with John Sloan, George Bellows; K.H. Miller

Exhibited: Whitney Studio and WMAA; Joseph Brummer Gallery, NYC, 1922 (with Alexander Brook); Stieglitz's Intimate Gallery (pastel caricature studies); solo exhibs. in NYC, at Montross Gal., Anderson Gals., E. Weyhe Gal., Downtown Gal., Rhen Gal., and an Amer. Group (retrospective, 1942); Kraushaar Galleries, NYC, 1973; solo exhibs. at Ogunquit, ME, 1979, and NCFA, 1975; many other nat. exhibs.; Salons of Am.; AIC; S.Indp.A. Awards: Guggenheim fellowship, 1934; NIAL Award, 1944; Butler Inst. Am. Artists Prize, 1955.

Member: Whitney Studio Club; NAD; SAGA; NIAL; Woodstock Artists Assoc.

Work: Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY; MMA; WMAA; BM; MoMA; NMAA; Woodstock Artists Assoc.

Comments: Well-known as illustrator of children's books and for her satirical caricatures of the New York City art world in the 1920s and 1930s. Her parents were artists Charles Roswell Bacon and Elizabeth Chase. Peggy Bacon and her husband Alexander Brook (married 1920, divorced 1940) were important figures in the Woodstock art colony in the early 1920s. During these years and after, Bacon concentrated almost entirely on drypoint, lithography, and illustration. In the 1950s, however, she took up oils again, producing scenes of small-town life that, while quiet in mood, often contain subtle oddities and humor. She was also a prolific illustrator in the 1950s and 1960s and wrote one mystery novel (The Inward Eye," 1953) for which she won the Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Award. Other publications: auth., Off With Their Heads (1935); auth./illus., Good American Witch (Hale, 1957); auth., Ghost of Opalina 1957; auth./illus., Magic Touch ( Little,1968); auth., Oddity (Pantheon, 1962); she illustrated over 60 bks. Contributor to magazines: New Yorker; Town and Country; Vanity Fair. She taught art from1933 to c.1964 at the ASL, in 1940 at Temple Univ., CGA from 1942-44 and others.

Sources: WW73; WW40; WW66; Roberta Tarbell, Peggy Bacon, exhib. cat., NCFA, 1975; Baigell, Dictionary; Rubinstein, American Women Artists, 190-93; Petteys, Dictionary of Women Artists; add'l info. courtesy Woodstock Artists Assoc."