James Francis Day is prized as an artist who elevated genre subjects beyond that of tranquil domestic scenes and sentimental vignettes. He imbued his pictures with another-worldly quality and a hazy atmospheric presence.
Born in Le Roy, New York, Day first studied at the Art Students' League in New York. Some time between 1892 and 1894, Day traveled to Paris where he studied at Ecole des Beaux Arts under the French Academic painter and illustrator of books by Victor Hugo, Luc-Olivier Merson, and the British Academic painter, John Rogers Herbert.
Upon Day's return to New York City, he exhibited extensively at the National Academy of Design where he won the Third Hallgarten Prize in 1895. In 1912, he moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts and then to Lanesboro, Massachusetts where he died in 1942. Today his works can be found in collections at the Art Museum of Montclair, New Jersey and the Lanesboro Town Hall.