Molly Peacock uncovers the history of neglected painter Mary Hiester Reid, a trailblazing artist who refused to choose between marriage and a career.
Molly Peacock looks at the balancing act of female creativity and domesticity in the life of Mary Hiester Reid, a painter who produced over three hundred stunning, emotive floral still lifes and landscapes. Born in the U.S. in 1854, trained by libertine Thomas Eakins, Mary trailblazed in a life where she fought for her place as a professional artist without having to live as a tragic heroine.
She married George A. Reid, a prominent Canadian painter, and moved with him to Toronto, though she kept a studio in the Catskill Mountains. But it was the Edwardian age, and while their relationship was more equal than most, it was Mary’s place to manage the domestic scene. So, how do you find the time to paint when you need to get to the market to buy a chicken for dinner? And how do you manage a marriage when your art student becomes your rival?
Mary fought for a place as a professional artist without having to live as a tragic heroine. She married George Reid, Canadian muralist, and while their relationship was more equal than most, this was still the Edwardian age. How do you find time to paint when you need to get to the market to buy a chicken for dinner?
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Biographer and distinguished poet Molly Peacock is the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, as well as seven volumes of poetry, including The Analyst: Poems. She is an arts activist and, with a friend, started what became a cultural institution in New York City: Poetry in Motion on the subways and buses. A former Leon Levy Center for Biography Fellow and a dual American/Canadian citizen, Molly divides her time between Toronto and New York City.
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