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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Peggy Bacon (1895–1987). The Quest of Beauty, between 1936 and 1941. India ink and black crayon on off-white wove paper. Gift and bequest of Caroline and Erwin Swann, 1977. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (024.00.00). Courtesy of Kraushaar Galleries, New York.

The Eye of the Beholder

Among the most admired American female artists of the twentieth century, Peggy Bacon won early fame as a caricaturist, but also produced satirical prints, drawings, and book illustrations. In this drawing a woman views ancient figurines while preparing to powder her nose. Her outstretched arms echo the tiny figures' gestures, as if communing across the centuries. Such gentle humor arising from visual juxtapositions contrasts with the sharper type in Bacon's acerbic and insightful caricatures.