Eugene Speicher studied at the Albright Art Gallery School in Buffalo in the evenings while spending his days working at a lumber yard. He later attended the Art Students League where he won his first award for his portrait of a fellow student, Georgia O'Keefe. Speicher supported himself through the early part of his career with portrait commissions. He also painted small, informal landscapes and nudes. In 1936 Esquire magazine called Speicher "the most important living painter." He exhibited widely and was honored for his artistically orthodox approach to painting. His portraits were conservative in style and execution and he acquired technical influence from Cézanne and Renoir during his trip to Europe (1910). His brushwork and use of color was simple but expressive. Speicher helped to establish the Woodstock Art Colony in 1907. He died in New York City at the age of 79.