Frank Lusk Babbott was a wealthy businessman and collector. He married Lydia Richardson Pratt, daughter of Lydia Richardson and Charles Pratt, in 1877.
As a young man Babbott studied law; later he became director of the Chelsea Jute Mills, New York, 1883-1901.
Babbott had a strong taste for literature, art and education and held a number of honorary posts, including trusteeships of Brooklyn, New York Board of Education, Vassar College and Brooklyn Academy of Music. He purchased Rose and Gold: 'Pretty Nellie Brown' (YMSM 451) from the Fine Art Society in August 1900. He visited JW's studio on a trip to London in September 1902.
In 1905, Babbott published Poems of John Donne: selected from his songs, sonnets, elegies, letters, satires and divine poems.
Platt, D. F., and F. N. Price, The collection of Frank Lusk Babbott (1854–1933), New York, 1934; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.