Eugene Higgins Biography

Eugene Higgins




Eugene Higgins, a painter and etcher, was born the son of an Irish stonecutter and builder in Kansas City, Missouri in 1874. After his mother's death, Eugene moved to Saint Louis, where he was raised. He briefly attended classes at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts.

In 1897, he went to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian, under Jean Paul Laurens, Benjamin Contrast and jean Leon Gerome. In France he developed the skill of etching, which became his primary way of earning money. In 1904, he returned to America, spending a year in St. Louis and then settling in New York City. That same year, the militant Journal of Social Satire in Art devoted an entire issue to Higgins' illustration titled Les Paurves. In 1921, Higgins was voted to membership in the National Academy of Design, and participated in every exhibition after that to 1950.

During the Depression era Higgins created murals including for post offices in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; Shawano, Wisconsin and Mount Pleasant Tennessee.

In 1958 Eugene Higgins died in a hospital in New York after a long illness.