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 Lucy Angeline Bacon  (1857 - 1932)

About: Lucy Angeline Bacon


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Lived/Active: California / France      Known for: impressionist floral landscape and still life painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Lucy Bacon
1857 (Pitcairn, New York)
1932 (San Francisco, California)

California / France

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impressionist floral landscape and still life painting

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Impressionists Pre 1940
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Pitcairn, New York, Lucy Bacon showed great promise as a young woman painter with direct ties to French Impressionism.  However, when she was in her late 40s, she redirected her energies to become a Christian Science practitioner and abandoned her art career.  Only minimal biographical information about her has been found by researchers, but she is credited with historical significance to California art because, as a student of Camille Pissarro, she is "the only California artist who is known to have studied directly with one of the French Impressionists" (Gerdts 111).

Bacon began her art training in New York City at the Art Students League and then in 1892, went to Paris where she enrolled at the Academie Colarossi.  However, she was discontent with her studies there and asked expatriate-American painter Mary Cassatt for art instruction.  Cassatt agreed and also used her personal influence to solicit lessons for Bacon from Pissarro, who was living at Eragny near Paris.  Bacon then moved to Eragny and did some paintings that are clearly Impressionist.  But her letters to her family indicate she had ongoing health problems that prevented her from painting full time.

Thinking that the climate of California would assuage her chronic illness, she moved to San Jose, arriving about 1896.  Although her paintings continued to have obvious influences of Impressionism, not enough is recorded about this artist to ascertain the degree of influence on her work by either Cassatt or Pissarro.

It is quite likely that both as a teacher and an exhibiting painter, she exerted Impressionist influences on other California artists.  Unmarried, she taught at Washburn School and painted from her home studio.  By 1898, she was exhibiting Impressionist style paintings such as "A San Jose Garden" at the San Francisco Art Association.  (Her niece married Robert K Vickery the son of William Kingston Vickery, who in 1891 and 1893 organized the first exhibitions of Impressionism in San Francisco.)

However, in 1905, she renounced her art career and devoted herself to religion, possibly finding it eased her health problems.  By 1909, she was living in San Francisco where she died in 1932.

Exhibition venues included the National Academy of Design and the San Francisco Art Association.

William Gerdts and Will South, California Impressionism
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

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