Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Francis Lee Jaques (1887-1969)
Francis Lee Jaques was born in Geneseo, Illinois on September 28, 1887 and died in 1969. The Jaques family went to Kansas around 1896 when he was about nine years old and later to Minnesota. Jaques was a student at the School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during 1915 and 1916 but then went into the Army as a Private from 1917 to 1919. He did not begin work as an artist until 1920, when he was 33 years old. In 1924, Jaques went to work for The American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He was sent on numerous expeditions to make sketches and collect material for murals and panoramic background paintings for museum habitat exhibits. He went to Panama in 1925, the Bahamas and Peru in 1926, the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean in 1928, England and Switzerland in 1932, Polynesia in 1934, and South America again in 1935. His background paintings can be seen at The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Museum of Science in Boston, the Peabody Museum in New Haven, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the Minnesota Museum of Natural History, and the University of Nebraska Museum. On May 12, 1927, he married the former Florence Sarah Page, a talented writer who accompanied him on his travels. Beginning in 1938, they collaborated on the production of seven books: Canoe Country, The Geese Fly High, Birds Across The Sky, Snowshoe Country, Canadian Spring, As Far As The Yukon, and There Once Was A Puffin. Among the other books illustrated by Jaques were Oceanic Birds of South America by Dr. Robert C. Muphy, South Carolina Bird Life, Florida Bird Life, and Outdoor Life's Gallery of North American Game. He left the Museum in 1942, and began a free lancing career. His illustrations have included Life Magazine, the Saturday Evening Post, Outdoor Life, and Field and Stream. He was selected through the honorary limited competition to design the 1940 Federal Duck Stamp design. He and his wife were joint recipients of the John Burroughs Medal, an annual national award for the best nature study book.
View high resolution images of works by Frances Lee Jaques when available.