BACON, Peggy

Creator

BACON, PEGGY
B. United States, 1895 - 1987
New York–based artist Peggy Bacon trained from 1915 to 1920 at the Art Students League, where she studied with modernists George Bellows and John Sloan. Like her instructors, Bacon created works that record scenes from daily life. Citing the nineteenth-century French satirist Honoré Daumier as an artistic influence, Bacon depicted the people around her as caricatures, generating a body of work notable as much for its humor and wit as for its virtuosic technique. She is perhaps best known today for her drypoint prints, made by incising lines into a metal plate using a needle—a technique she taught herself using a printing press and zinc plates that she came upon while a student at the League. Several New York City exhibitions of her caricatures, starting in 1928, attracted positive critical attention, which buoyed a trend during the Depression in which art galleries regularly exhibited caricature. She was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut to artist parents, Charles Roswell Bacon and Elizabeth Chase, and spent much of her youth traveling internationally with them, to paint. In the late 1920s, she began to explore lithographs, etchings, and pastel, but drypoint remained her favorite medium until the 1950s when she concentrated on oil painting. Although Bacon had trained as a painter, she eventually became famous for her satirical prints and drawings of New York life. Her caricatures were first published in a single issue spoof, entitled Bad News. Her early portrait caricatures in Bad News, like her early drypoints, depended upon a hard, controlling outline, filled in with shading or an obscure pattern. The intensity of the hues, the highly selective and organized palette, and her visually satisfying compositions all contribute to the high quality and formal aspects that distinguish Bacon's pastel portraits from others. 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.

Citation

BACON, PEGGY, B. United States, 1895 - 1987, and New York–based artist Peggy Bacon trained from 1915 to 1920 at the Art Students League, where she studied with modernists George Bellows and John Sloan. Like her instructors, Bacon created works that record scenes from daily life. Citing the nineteenth-century French satirist Honoré Daumier as an artistic influence, Bacon depicted the people around her as caricatures, generating a body of work notable as much for its humor and wit as for its virtuosic technique. She is perhaps best known today for her drypoint prints, made by incising lines into a metal plate using a needle—a technique she taught herself using a printing press and zinc plates that she came upon while a student at the League. Several New York City exhibitions of her caricatures, starting in 1928, attracted positive critical attention, which buoyed a trend during the Depression in which art galleries regularly exhibited caricature. She was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut to artist parents, Charles Roswell Bacon and Elizabeth Chase, and spent much of her youth traveling internationally with them, to paint. In the late 1920s, she began to explore lithographs, etchings, and pastel, but drypoint remained her favorite medium until the 1950s when she concentrated on oil painting. Although Bacon had trained as a painter, she eventually became famous for her satirical prints and drawings of New York life. Her caricatures were first published in a single issue spoof, entitled Bad News. Her early portrait caricatures in Bad News, like her early drypoints, depended upon a hard, controlling outline, filled in with shading or an obscure pattern. The intensity of the hues, the highly selective and organized palette, and her visually satisfying compositions all contribute to the high quality and formal aspects that distinguish Bacon's pastel portraits from others. 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, Peggy,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 25, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/4669.