|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following biography is from James Hamilton, Jr., researcher of New Jersey artists:|
Eunice Jackson Fais was born March 29, 1901 in Buffalo, New York, but by her
fourth birthday the family had moved to New Jersey to take up residence in
Passaic where her father, an architect and school designer could be near his
work and the New York market.
Her early education was through the Passaic Public School system,with early
art instruction coming from her father a would-be commercial artist. Shortly
after World War I, Eunice began her serious art studies with attendance at
the Art Students League of New York where she came under the influence of
Thomas Fogarty (1873-1938). It was at the Art Students League that she met
John Francis Fais, a student in commercial art who was later to become her
In the early 1920s Eunice traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts, then a beehive of arts activity as the North Shore Art Association was being
formed. Here she briefly came under the teaching influence of Arthur
Freedlander (1875-1940) and George L. Noyes (1864-1954) whose Gloucester
harbor work Eunice Fais' similar work greatly resembles.
The summers of 1922 and 1923 were devoted to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts summer school at Chester Springs, Pennsylvania where she took several prizes for her landscape work.
Later, more advanced art instruction came at the Metropolitan Art School at
53 West 57th Street in New York City were Eunice came under the influence of
the noted National Academy Artist Michel Jacobs (1877-1958). Jacobs was so
impressed with the young woman's art that following her studies with him,
Jacobs offered her a position as an instructor and his assistant. Helping
this decision was the fact that Eunice had exhibited leadership capabilities
when she became one of the co-founders of the Student Association of Drawing and Painting in New York City's Washington Square.
John and Eunice Fais were married in the mid-1920s. Shortly thereafter John
purchased a 20 acre farm at 2020 Washington Valley Road in Martinsville, New
Jersey, and they moved to this Somerset County rural community. It was here
that their only child Douglas was born.
Eunice enjoyed painting the local farm scenes with their barns, fields and dirt lanes, but this was to last only into the early 1930s when the Depression hit the Fais family and they were forced to rent out the house and farm and return to Passaic to earn a living. During this period Eunice Fais was employed as the display manager for Abbott's, Passaic's largest department store where she was responsible for design and construction of all the store's displays, a job she held for some eight years.
With the Depression and World War II over, Eunice and John Fais were once
again able to return to their Washington Valley farm to resume the life they
preferred. The pressures of the Depression and the War being what they were, Eunice Fais had little time for painting, and into the 1950s she busied
herself with church work and the local Women's Literary Club. However, with
the death of her husband in 1961, Eunice returned to her painting of
Somerset County's Washington Valley area near her home. She was successful in selling a few of her paintings of local scenes in the local area and was content to remain there rather than travel to paint. Earlier, John and
Eunice had traveled extensively to Long Island and the New England states as
far as the rocky coast of Maine where they painted together.
Eunice Jackson Fais continued to paint well into her later years maintaining
her independence and remaining in her home until the last. She died May 30,
1997 at Morristown (NJ) Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. She was
96 years of age.
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