A native of Buffalo, Evelyn Rumsey Lord studied at the Albright Art School with Urquhart Wilcox and Edwin Dickinson and at the Art Students’ League in New York with Robert Henri. During summers she studied in Ogonquit, Maine, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Local artists popularized her studio at 18 Tracy Street, including Anna Kimball, Ruth Hoffman, Esther Hoyt Sawyer, and Ethelyn Pratt Cobb. She became a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists in 1910 and served as president for two years from 1931 to 1932.
Lord was also one of the founding members of the Patteran Society in 1933. The name, suggested by Evelyn Hill Olmsted, comes from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Romany Trail:” a patteran is a pattern made with broken twigs that was used by gypsies to point out a direction not taken before. The Patteran Society’s goals were to promote open discussion without resentment, to organize open exhibitions of members’ works, and to establish impartially juried exhibitions with awards.