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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Mary Hallock Foote (1847–1938). A Pretty Girl in the West, 1889. Published in "Pretty Girls in the West" in Century Magazine, October, 1889. Graphite and wash. Cabinet of American Illustration, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (001.00.00)

Romance and Courtship in the American West

This illustration accompanies an essay by Mary Hallock Foote in which she observes that eastern girls coming west attract admirers and risk encouraging romantic expectations that neither party can meet. She creates an atmosphere of restraint by positioning the young woman and man far apart and making little eye contact. When Foote married a mining engineer, she left a budding career on the East Coast, but continued illustrating and writing under often challenging conditions.