James Sibley Watson, Jr. was the son of Emily Sibley Watson and her second husband, James Sibley Watson, Sr. Sibley, as he was known, had a long and remarkable life. He studied at Groton School and Harvard, and received a medical degree, although he does not appear to have practiced medicine. He is best known as the publisher, with Schofield Thayer, of The Dial magazine from 1920-1929; as an amateur filmmaker creating important the early silent movies Fall of the House of Usher and Lot in Sodom, and as a developer of early techniques of cinefluorography, or X-ray motion pictures.
Wildly creative and yet quite retiring, Sibley Watson was a friend of poets E.E. Cummings and Marianne Moore and artist Gaston Lachaise. Sibley was a life-long "friend of the Gallery," preferring however to give anonymously.