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Abstract Detail

Trail Blazing Women as botanical artists in the 19th and 20th century

Holland, Susan [1].

The Garden of Eaton: Botanical Adventures of Mary Emily Eaton (1873-1961).

Public historian Susan H. Holland presents The Garden of Eaton, The Botanical Adventures of Mary Emily Eaton (1873-1961). This timely book is about the connection between an artist, her watercolor brush, and newly described native plants identified by botanists at the New York Botanical Garden. It is a personal, untold story of a new career pathway forged by one orphaned, spinster woman braided with an institutional history of staggering scientific significance. It is a lesson for women today about the journey to establish one’s place in the world. It shines a light on how to focus and see nature around us, inspiring us to protective action. A forgotten life, full of extraordinary accomplishments, travel, tragic family entanglements - an artist’s brush with life and a disappearing natural environment. Holland writes to bring the excitement of yesterday’s discovery to today’s generations, protecting tomorrow’s resources. She wonders how could England’s most prolific, award winning, and published natural history and botanical artist be a secret? Holland has discovered that Mary Emily Eaton, to survive being a “redundant” British single woman, moved to America in 1911, and there her legacy lay hidden for almost 90 years. “Too much cannot be said in praise of the 120 pages of flower paintings contributed by Miss Mary E. Eaton, of the New York Botanical Garden. Those best qualified to judge regard Miss Eaton the greatest of living wildflower painters. She has not only painted the likeness of the flowers with the highest botanical accuracy, but she has been able also to put the very soul of the plants into her paintings.” -- William Joseph Showalter, Washington, D.C. 1924 in the Foreword to the National Geographic Society, The Book of Wildflowers. This presentation will share the story of challenges facing a British single woman artist at the turn of the century, and her notable achievements in Somerset, London, Worcester, Jamaica and New York. It will feature the valuable collection of watercolors, line drawings, Royal Worcester (James Hadley) floral painted china, and associated documentation of the life and art of Mary Emily Eaton, establishing her well-deserved but previously languishing legacy.

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1 - 222 West Avenue C, Bismarck, ND, 58501, United States

Botanical Art

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY2, Trail Blazing Women as botanical artists in the 19th and 20th century
Location: 104/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY2003
Abstract ID:227
Candidate for Awards:None

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