Eugene Higgins was a painter and printmaker. Higgins worked in the tradition of Jean-François Millet and Honoré Daumier, expressing his humanitarian intests in portrayals of the poor and downtrodden. After attending public school and a commercial college in Saint Louis, he studied art in Paris at the Académie Julian (1897 – 1898) and at the École des Beaux-Arts (1899 – 1904) under Gérôme. Upon his return to the United States in 1904, he traveled briefly before establishing his studio in New York. Essentially a figure painter, Higgins drew, painted, and etched the unfortunate: flood victims, refugees, dirt farmers, and the shipwrecked.