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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Mary Hallock Foote (1847–1938). Between the Desert and the Sown, 1895. Published in "Conquest of Arid America," Century Magazine, May 1895. Wash drawing. Cabinet of American Illustration, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (001.01.00)

Gentlewoman and Artist in the West

Mary Hallock Foote's drawing of a young woman walking along an irrigation ditch serves as a window into her own often isolated situation in the vast, sparsely settled American West. When she married a mining engineer in 1876, she left a budding career on the East Coast but continued illustrating and writing under often challenging conditions. This drawing from nearly twenty years later attests to her persistence in pursuing her career.