JESSIE PIXLEY LACEY
Jessie Lacey was born in Charlotte, Michigan in 1865. Her art studies began at the Art Institute of Chicago. In Paris she was one of the many American students of Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Tony Robert-Fleury. In addition, she studied under Charles Lasar, who would have introduced her to plein air painting. At one point, Lacey discovered Etaples and Auvers-sur-Oise. It seems likely that Lacey would have been part of the group of artists who gathered at Etaples, including Myron Barlow who was there in the 1890s. She must have kept a low profile, however, since there is no record of her activities there (Jean-Claude Lesage, Peintres Américains en Pas-de-Calais, 2007, found no evidence of her working at Etaples). Barlow was the self-proclaimed senior member of the group. Max Bohm worked in the area and established his own school there in 1898. Barlow, Bohm and Lacey all preceded Henry O. Tanner, who went there later in 1904 and founded with others the Société Artistique de Picardie.
In 1900 Lacey had one work on display at the Paris Salon. Back in Chicago, she lived in Evanston, now Chicago’s first suburb to the north, and began exhibiting her works at the Art Institute (1897 to 1912). The titles indicate that she was interested in landscape, portraits, and genre scenes. Lacy also exhibited at the St. Louis Universal Exposition in 1904, and in galleries in New York and Washington, DC. She began teaching at the Art Institute in 1910. Not enough works by Lacey are known to summarize her stylistic development.
Submitted by Richard H. Love and Michael Preston Worley, Ph.D.