Artist Florence U. "Fonchen" Lord was born on April 14, 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe College in 1933 and a Master of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1934. After spending a number of years in the mid-west and New England, she moved to Lakeland, Florida in 1949. She continued to maintain a summer home in New Hampshire.
Lord said in a 1990 interview that "I'm the kind of artist who likes to work more in a direction of learning. I like to learn." That philosophy was reflected in the evolution of Lord's work from the two dimensional drawings and paintings which characterized her work in the 1960's and early 1970's to the wood and canvas boxes and metal wall pieces and on to the large, boldly sculpted and colorful lacquered aluminum pieces which distinguished her later career.
Lord explained this evolution as a "need to free myself from the shackles of frames [and] two dimensional flat canvas." And free herself she did in such striking pieces as Four Fold #3 in the permanent collection of the Polk Museum of Art, Standing fold #6 on the Florida Southern College campus, and Z-Stele. Her work graces the collections of the Miami Museum of Art, the New College in Sarasota, the Jacksonville Museum of Art, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and the Lakeland Civic Center. In addition, her work has won numerous awards and has been displayed in galleries, exhibits, and one woman shows across the United States.
Fonchen Lord died on August 25, 1993 in North Conway, New Hampshire, near her Jackson, New Hampshire summer home. She was 82.