Lucy Brown L’Engle was born on September 26, 1889 to an affluent New York City family. Her father, Charles Stelle Brown was a very successful real estate broker in Manhattan for over 50 years. Her mother, Lucy Barnes Brown was the first U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Champion in 1893. Lucy’s brother, former New York congressman Lathrop Brown, was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s roommate at both Groton, a prep school in Massachusetts, and at Harvard University. They were such close friends that Lathrop was FDR’s best man at his wedding to Eleanor. Reportedly, FDR proposed to Lucy a few years before his marriage to Eleanor, however, Lucy declined. Instead of following a life in “high society” she showed early signs of a woman who possessed an independent mind, and chose a life devoted to the study of art. Family records indicate that Lucy may have visited Provincetown as early as 1909 to study with Charles Webster Hawthorne at his Cape Cod School of Art. In 1911 she attended the Art Students League in New York City studying with George Brandt Bridgman, and others. In 1913 she furthered her studies in Paris at the Academie Julian where she studied with the cubist painter, Albert Gleizes.
Lucy first joined and exhibited at The Provincetown Art Association in 1918. In 1925 Lucy became a founding member of the New York Society of Women Artists (NYSWA) joining such noted Provincetown artists as Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956), Ellen Ravenscroft (1876-1949), Agnes Weinrich (1873-1946) and Marguerite Zorach (1887-1968), the NYSWA’s first president.
Lucy was very dedicated to her husband’s memory and for several years exhibited his work in his former studio in Truro which was briefly known as the “L’Engle Studio Gallery.” In the years after Bill’s death, Lucy became interested in archaic Greek, Hittite and Persian sculptures. In 1969 she produced a catalog of her drawings called “Lucy L’Engle, My Personal Rediscovery of Archaic Greek Sculpture in Greece,” published by The Ram Press, New York. Previously, these drawings were shown at the Hotel Barbizon in 1965 and we believe it to be her last exhibition. Lucy died in Provincetown on March 14, 1978.