<font color="#808080">JAQUES, Francis Lee</font>

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(1887 - 1969)

Mr. Jaques traveled many miles during his career as an artist, but probably the longest journey, subjectively speaking, was one be took as a boy, when he had no idea he'd ever become a painter. His family was living in Kansas in 1906 when they decided to move to northern Minnesota. This meant a long trek of nearly 600 miles over primitive roads with a horse-drawn wagon. Upon leaving Kansas they had to cross part of either Nebraska or Missouri to reach Iowa, and then traverse that entire state to get into Minnesota which stretches very far north indeed when one is on foot. Mr. Jaques and his father walked most of the way. It's no wonder that he has never hesitated, since then, to go wherever his work took him

Francis Lee Jaques was born in Geneseo, Illinois on September 28, 1887, the son of Ephraim Parker and Emma Jane (Monninger) Jaques. The family went to Kansas around 1896 when he was about nine years old and only later to Minnesota. Mr. 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 Mr. 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. Over the years his travels have taken him from northern Alaska to southern South America.

Using this wealth of material and sketches, he has done more than 80 background paintings, totaling close to 30,000 square feet. It's axiomatic that his painting cannot and should not be thought of as so much square footage, but it does give an indication of the thousands of hours of research, study, and labor that went into these projects. They are enduring testimony to the ability of Mr. Jaques and can be admired by millions in The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Museum of Science in Boston, Peabody Museum in New Haven, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Minnesota Museum of Natural History, University of Nebraska Museum, and similar exhibits in Texas.

On May 12, 1927, Mr. Jaques 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 outstanding 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 Mr. Jaques are Oceanic Birds of South America by Dr. Robert C. Murphy, South Carolina Bird Life, Florida Bird Life, and Outdoor Life's Gallery of North American Game.

Mr. Jaques left the Museum in 1942, and began free-lancing before slowly working into retirement. He did many easel paintings in oil and had illustrations in Life, Saturday Evening Post, Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and other national magazines. He is a world-famous figure, having painted wildlife subjects for over 47 years.

Mr. Jaques' name has been so often misspelled that he came almost to expect it and says that even his relatives sometimes put the "c" in it by mistake. The erroneous spelling automatically brings about mispronunciation. The proper pronunciation is Jay-kwes with the accent on the jay and the whole rhyming with make-peace.

He was member of the American Ornithologists Union and belongs to the Explorers Club. He and his wife were joint recipients of the John Burroughs Medal, an annual national award for the best nature study book.

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