Peggy Bacon –

Margaret Frances (Peggy) Bacon


American print maker Margaret Frances Bacon aka Peggy Bacon b. 1895 Connecticut USA was known for her humorous drawings. Writings, illustrations and print making.

Her caricatures of famous people were both humorous and satirical.


peggy bacon self portrait 1934Both her parents were artists. They met at The Art Students league, went on to marry and had three children. Peggy was to survive her two younger brothers who died in infancy.

Bacons parents travelled and were always on the move. The family lived in New York, Paris and the Bahamas. Bacon had and unconventional childhood and was allowed to study only subjects she was interested in: subjects like Latin, the Ancient world, mythology.

Tired eyes 1935 drypoint on paper

In 1913 Bacon attended boarding school in New Jersey at the age of 14. Her father who suffered depression, killed himself in his studio the same year. She moved with her mother to New York and began formal art training after graduation from Kent Place School, New Jersey.  

She became interested printmaking and taught herself drypoint  etching  around 1917 her first drypoint caricatures were published in a satirical magazine called Bad News the following year. Although Bacon trained as a painter, she became  more known for her drawings and satirical prints.  Drypoint was to be her favourite media until 1945, when she switched to pastels.



Bacon was a prolific artist.  She had over 30 solo exhibitions, including Alfred Stieglitz Intimate Gallery.

frenzied effor 1925 drypoint on woven paper

‘The aim of a caricature is to heighten and intensify to the point of absurdity all the subject’s most striking attributes; a caricature should not necessarily stop at ridiculing the features but should include in its extravagant appraisal whatever of the figure may be needed to explain the personality, the whole drawing imparting a spicy and clairvoyant comment upon the subject’s peculiarities’.— Peggy Bacon[2]

Bacon illustrated more than 60 books, as well as contributing to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.  Her satirical sketches of the 1920s -1930s New York art world are both witty and humourous.  She also wrote novels and was awarded the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best novel of the year for her 1953 mystery novel The Inward Eye


Thanks to

The Smithsonian American Art Museum

More works here

More about Stieglitz and The Intimate Gallery here

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