Eugene Speicher, an internationally known portraitist, was born in Buffalo on April 5, 1883. He was a star athlete in 1901 with the Buffalo YMCA during the Pan-American Exposition, and also attended the Albright Art School, in which he obtained a scholarship to the Arts Students’ League in New York. He studied under Robert Henri at the League, and a few prominent fellow classmates include Edward Hopper, George Bellows, and Guy Pene du Bois. Shortly after his marriage in 1910, he traveled and studied abroad in galleries of Paris, London, Holland, Germany, and Italy. Later on, he would receive his Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University in 1945.
Speicher, mainly known for his portraits, had an incredible ability to capture the likeness of the individual. He tended to favor female subjects, and some of his sitters included Georgia O’Keeffe and Katherine Cornell.
The artist received various awards throughout his life, including from the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the National Academy of Design. He was also elected Honorary Member of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in 1949. A retrospective of his art and drawings from 1908-1949 was held at the Albright-Knox in 1950. Speicher passed away in 1962 at the age of 79.