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Peggy Bacon Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987.
Title: Peggy Bacon Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1893-2004
Quantity: 4.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American author, caricaturist, illustrator, painter. Collection includes correspondence between Bacon and her husband Alexander Brook, as well as that of others; manuscript articles, illustrations, poems, and notebooks; published material including articles, drawings, and newspaper clippings by or about Bacon and Brook; memorabilia, including awards, photographs, and reviews; and miscellany.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Peggy Bacon (1895-1987) was an American author, caricaturist and illustrator.

Margaret "Peggy" Bacon was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on May 2 1895, the only child of Charles R. Bacon and his wife Elizabeth, both professional painters, and grew up in an artistic and literary environment. In an interview in 1973 with Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art, she recalled that "[My parents] were passionate readers of Henry James as fast as his novels came out. Every evening there was reading aloud....[T]here were quantities of books, endless books arriving. And a great deal of charm. They were people of taste. Father was very well-read in French. He spoke French so well that French people mistook him for a Frenchman."

Peggy was largely educated by tutors and governesses until the age of fourteen when she was sent to Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey. She displayed her artistic talents at an early age and rather than entering college decided to study at the Art Students League in New York City. In 1920 she married fellow student Alexander Brook (with whom she later had two children, Alexander and Belinda) and began her career as artist, writer and teacher.

Peggy Bacon taught at the Corcoran Art School in Washington DC, the Fieldstone School, the Art Students League, Hunter College, and the New School in New York. At the same time, she began exhibiting her pastels, prints, etchings and caricatures in many of the country's major museums. She had had her first one-man show in 1915 and beginning in 1922 she had a show almost every year at various galleries in New York. Like many of her compatriots, she worked for Associated American Artists but did not stay with them long.

Along with her art, Peggy was also a talented writer. She contributed articles, short stories, and witty verse to leading magazines such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the Saturday Review, including a review in verse of The Women, which "earned [me] two lifelong enemies -- Clare Booth Luce and Henry Luce." Her first children's book, The Lion-hearted Kitten, was published in 1926 and several more quickly followed, as well as illustration work on more than sixty books for both children and adults. In 1952 her first novel, a mystery entitled The Inward Eye, was published and won favorable reviews.

In 1934 Bacon won a Guggenheim Fellowship and a few years later an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. She retired to Cape Porpoise, Maine in 1961 where she lived until her death in 1987.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Peggy Bacon Papers consist of artwork originals, artwork reproductions, biographical material, correspondence subject files, legal material, memorabilia and writings.

Artwork originals is a variety of sizes of pencil, ink and watercolor drawings, some done when Bacon was a child.

Artwork reproductions consists of published copies of illustrations she did for her own and other people's writing.

Biographical material includes brief biographies for shows and other purposes as well as curriculum vitae and obituaries.

Correspondence subject files includes Peggy Bacon's correspondence as well as Alexander Brook's correspondence and some of their early correspondence with each other.

Legal material is composed of notes about Peggy Bacon's estate that were made by her daughter Belinda and a copy of Peggy Bacon's birth certificate.

Memorabilia consists of awards and honors, clippings, exhibition announcenments and catalogs, photgraphs, post cards, and a scrapbook.

Writings includes manuscript and published copies of articles, books, poems, reviews and short stories as well as some compositions Bacon wrote as a High School student.

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Arrangement of the Collection

General correspondence is arranged chronologically and all other material is arranged alphabetically by type and within type by title where titles exist.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of a number of American artists from the same time period. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Bacon, Charles R. (Charles Roswell), 1868-1913.
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987.
Benet, S.V. (Stephen Vincent), 1898-1943.
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1958.
Bouche, Louis, 1896-1969.
Brook, Alexander.
Cramer, Konrad, 1888-1963.
Duffy, Edmund, 1899-1962.
Fine, Irving, 1914-1962.
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948.
John, Augustus, 1878-1961.
Porter, Katherine Anne, 1890-1980.
Sunami, Soichi, 1885-1971.
White, E.B. (Elwyn Brooks), 1899-1985.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Illustrators, United States.
Painters, United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Painting, American.
Women artists, United States.
Women authors, American.
Women painters, United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)
Notes (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Peggy Bacon Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Peggy Bacon, 1964.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: Jan 1967
Revision history: 25 Sep 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 13 Apr 2018 - reprocessed and rehoused. Material from 2007 accession (mostly relating to Peggy Bacon estate) incorporated (PRB)

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Artwork, original
Box 1 Booklet The course of the river 1908
Box 1 Booklet Day dreams 1906
Box 1 Booklet How fairyland disappeared 1906
Box 1 Booklet The kittenhood of Maria Bellamy Booker and Teddy 1906
Box 1 Booklet verses 1908
Box 1 Booklet untitled 1906
Box 1 Cut paper silhouette untitled undated
Box 1 Engravings untitled undated
Box 1 Print block untitled undated
Box 1 Sketchbooks 1906, 1908 undated (2 folders)
Box 1 Valentines 1906, 1922, undated
Watercolor designs for playing cards undated
Box 1 Miscellaneous sketches undated
Artwork, reproductions
Box 2 Book jacket illustrations 1929, 1958
Box 2 Published 1929-1939, 1940-1949, undated (3 folders)
Biographical material
Box 2 Biographical articles and curriculum vitae undated
Box 2 Obituaries 1987
Correspondence subject files
Box 2 General correspondence 1919-1963, 1980-1987, undated (3 folders)
Box 2 Correspondence between Peggy Bacon and Alexander Brook 1919-1921, undated
Box 3 The American Academy of Arts and Letters 1964, 1980
Box 3 Arms, John Taylor 1946, 1952, undated
Box 3 Art Students League of New York 1925, 1943, 1980, 1989
Box 3 The Arts 1929
Box 3 Bacon, Belinda 1933, 1962, 1983-1992, undated
Box 3 Bacon, Charles Roswell and Elizabeth A. 1893, 1952, undated
Box 3 Bacon, Sophia 1906
Box 3 Benet, Stephen Vincent and Rosemary 1942
Box 3 Bishop, Isabel undated
Box 3 Brook, Alexander undated
Box 3 Brook, Alexander B. (Sandy) 1958, 1981, undated
Box 3 Brook. Anneke W. 1958-1961 undated (8 folders)
Box 3 Brook, Lisbet and Megan 1985, undated
Box 3 Bouche, Louis 1935
Box 3 Carnegie Institute 1930
Box 3 Charles Scribners Sons 1953, 1955
Box 3 The Cleveland Museum of Art 1951
Box 3 Colt, Amy (Mrs. Charles C.) undated
Box 3 Colt, Charles C. (Chis) undated
Box 3 Colt, Francis Bacon undated
Box 3 Colt, Henry Francis 1941
Box 4 Colt, Mary 1940, 1941
Box 4 Colt, Sylvia undated
Box 4 Cramer, Konrad undated
Box 4 The Detroit Institute of Arts 1930
Box 4 Dreamland A Weekly Caprice 1905
Box 4 Duffy, Edmund and Anne Rector 1925
Box 4 Dunn, Alan and Mary Petty 1952
Box 4 The Evansville Public Museum 1946
Box 4 Fantasy and Science Fiction 1953
Box 4 Fine, Irving Gifford 1945
Box 4 Force, Juliana Rieser undated
Box 4 The Four Seas Company 1920
Box 4 Glennon, Edward 1962, undated
Box 4 Holmes, John A., Jr. 1957
Box 4 Houghton Mifflin Company 1950, 1953
Box 4 Howard, Cal 1919
Box 4 Indiana University Writers Conference 1958
Box 4 James, William 1952
Box 4 John, Augustus Edwin 1920
Box 4 Klitgaard, Georgina 1930
Box 4 Le Duc, Arthur Conrad 1930, 1959
Box 4 Mandelstam, Abraham 1942
Box 4 Metcalf, Addison M. undated
Box 4 Mystery Writers of America, Inc. 1952, 1953
Box 4 National Academy of Design 1980
Box 4 Porter, Katherine Anne 1958
Box 4 Pownall, Eleanor 1944
Box 4 Richardson, Alice Wilson undated
Box 4 Riddell, Marjorie 1953
Box 4 Sanborn, Robert Alden 1955
Box 4 Sanger, William 1929
Box 4 Schmidt, Katherine undated
Box 4 Schnakenberg, Henry E. 1930
Box 4 Shampanier, Abram August undated
Box 4 Smith, Grace C. and Beverly 1948, 1949 undated
Box 4 Smith College of Art 1954
Box 4 Soyer, Raphael 1930
Box 4 Stern, Louis E. 1930
Box 4 Summer School of Music and Art Stowe, Vermont 1964
Box 4 Sunami, Soichi 1942
Box 4 Tucker, Allen 1930
Box 4 The Vine Press 1921
Box 4 Watson, Forbes 1952
Box 4 White, E. B. 1953
Box 4 Wilson, Edmund 1940-1943, 1949, 1951, 1952
Box 4 Wilson, William E. 1948
Legal material
Box 4 Birth certificate copy 1920
Box 4 Notes relating to Peggy Bacon estate 1988-2004
Awards, certficates and honorary degrees
Box 4 Mystery Writers of America 1954
Box 4 Moore College of Art 1964
Box 8 Moore College of Art 1964
Box 4 Miscellaneous 1952, 1956, 1963
Box 5 Bacon, Peggy 1919-1985, undated (5 folders)
Box 5 Brook, Alexander 1923-1946, 1960, 1978-1981, undated (2 folders)
Box 5 Miscellaneous undated
Exhibition announcements, catalogs and invitations
Box 5 Bacon, Charles Roswell 1914
Box 5 Bacon, Peggy and/or Alexander Brook 1922-1945, 1958-1988, undated (3 folders)
Box 6 Miscellaneous 1930, 1972-1980 undated
Box 6 Family members and trips undated
Box 6 Blank postcards of works of art undated
Box 6 Clippings and notes 1925-1928
Box 6 Original art by others undated
Box 6 Character sketches undated
Box 6 A few ideas undated
Box 6 God rest ye merry, Christmas 1947
Box 6 How to turn a silk purse into a sows ear ir what a tenant can make and do undated
Box 6 Liberty undated
Box 6 The life beautiful undated
Box 6 The lost Eden 1947
Box 6 Luminary undated
Box 6 Mouse about town undated
Box 6 The peculiarity of Mr. Morton 1947
Box 6 The queerest day undated
Box 6 Small spook 1960,
Box 6 The sobs of a cynic undated
Box 6 Temple of Baal undated
Box 6 Who's who? undated
Box 6 Miscellaneous published articles 1925-1947
Box 6 Funerealities 1925
Box 6 The inward eye 1952
Box 6 The bumptious baby undated
Box 6 Battle hymn or battle him undated
Box 6 Birthday poems to Alexander Brook 1923, 1924
Box 6 Dawn to dusk undated
Box 7 Hand lettered and illustrated poems undated
Box 7 A hint to the hunted undated
Box 7 The mean old alphabet undated
Box 7 The supersensitive undated
Box 7 To Cotton Mother undated
Box 7 To Loogreezy Borgy undated
Box 7 To Louis that he may temper with sweet temper his temperance undated
Box 7 To Messy Lena undated
Box 7 To No. 13 in the Death House I Sing-Sing undated
Box 7 To Thais from Waif undated
Box 7 To the menace undated
Box 7 To Walter wrapped practically in the arms of Morpheus undated
Box 7 Miscellaneous published 1941, undated
Box 7 Fragments undated
Box 7 Call it a day undated
Box 7 Little bits about big men 1940
Box 7 Scenes from the Mesozoic by Clarence Day 1935
Box 7 Miscellaneous published 1935-1940
School compositions Notes
Box 7 High school essays 1910-1911 (2 folders)
Short Stories
Box 7 Cat tales undated
Box 7 The dame and the dime undated
Box 7 A day's journey undated
Box 7 The enchanted bar undated
Box 7 The enchanted man undated
Box 7 First family undated
Box 7 Furrier and furrier undated
Box 7 The mea culpa of Mrs. Reeves undated
Box 7 The maddening Miss Mantel undated
Box 7 Mrs. Reeves undated
Box 7 Pigs in clover undated
Box 7 Second sight undated
Box 7 Seven letter word undated
Box 7 The soft spot undated
Box 7 Spades & shovels undated
Box 7 The substitute undated
Box 7 Uncle Theobald's pet village undated
Box 7 The wall undated
Box 7 Notes and fragments undated

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