Eric Spencer MACKY (1880 – 1958)

Hagemeyer, Johan. Spencer Macky (1948). BANC PIC 1964.063--PIC Macky, Spencer -- 016. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Hagemeyer, Johan. Spencer Macky (1948). BANC PIC 1964.063–PIC Macky, Spencer — 016. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Artists do not grow old unless they think they know it all. It is fatal to be a follower of fashions and movements and equally fatal to be unaware of the restless experimentations of our own times. To look back should only inspire us to go forward; hence the necessity of a true evaluation of history. Art only unfolds itself to the artist through work. One line suggests another. Only in a general way is a work of art visualized before it is accomplished. I teach art, because I have always enjoyed sharing my adventures and experiences with young people eager to learn.

“The artist is a seer; and our problem in teaching is to inculcate the art of seeing with the inner eye and to pass on the technical experiences that have proved fundamental. The artist sees differently from the ordinary mortal and much of the beauty that is universally accepted has been discovered by the sweat and toil of the art of the past.”

Read Eric Spencer Macky biography in California Art Project, volume 15.

At a glance

Birth : November 16, 1880. Auckland, New Zealand
Death : May 5, 1958. San Francisco, California (United States)
Arrival in San Francisco Bay area : 1912
Married to : Constance Lillian Jenkins Macky
Skills : Painter and teacher at the Univerisity of California at Berkeley and at the California School of Fine Arts


Art education, teachers : National Gallery School of Painting (Melbourne, Australia) with Bernard Hall, Academie Julien with Jean-Paul Laurens
Partners : Constance Jenkins Macky
Patrons : Bishop Galleries, Wigginton Creed, Warrington Dorst, Mrs. William Holleby, Alexander Kaun, Leo Lentelli, J. Victor Macky, Mrs. Walter Pallot, Mr. Roy Rowe, Lieutenant Berridge Spencer
Institutions, clubs, venues : American Institute of Graphic Arts, Bohemian Club, California Society of Etchers, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco Art Association (executive director in 1930)

Resources in the Bancroft Library


Macky, Eric S. (1957). Reminiscences of Eric Spencer and Constance Macky : oral history transcript. Tape recorded interview conducted in 1954. Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library. Catalog recordOnline

Representative work

Spencer Macky. Portrait of David Starr Jordan. In California art research. [Monographs] First series. San Francisco, Calif., 1936-1937 and in California art research. Microfiche edition. La Jolla, Calif. : L. McGilvery, 1987. Vol. 15.

Data Visualization : mapping of Eric Macky’s biography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s