The painter and illustrator Morris Hall Pancoast was born in Salem, New Jersey, in 1877. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia under Thomas Pollock Anshutz and at the Académie Julian in Paris. He was a member of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy and the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Salmagundi Club in New York, the North Shore Art Alliance in Massachusetts, and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. Pancoast exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy, where he won a gold medal in 1924. Pancoast worked mainly in New York City but also maintained a summer studio in Rockport, Massachusetts.