Peggy Bacon (American, 1895-1987)

Bacon was a painter, illustrator, and lithographer who portrayed human issues through her depictions of animals and comical satires. Growing up with artistic parents, she was exposed to art at an early age and studied at the Arts Student League in New York. Bacon published her first book The True Philosopher and Other Cat Tales in 1919. She went on to illustrate over 60 books. After receiving the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1934, she published Off With Their Heads!, a series of satirical caricatures of Americans. Marsden Hartley exemplifies her ability to play with exaggerated facial expressions and bodily positions using bold lines.

Bacon’s first artistic showcase was at the Society of Independent Artists in New York in 1918, and she had over 30 solo shows throughout her career. Bacon’s prints are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum of Art; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. In 1980, she won the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for her lifelong contribution to illustration and graphic art.