The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott
Known as the “Audubon of Botany,” Philadelphia, Quaker Mary Morris Vaux Walcott (1860–1940) was a gifted artist whose stunning watercolors comprise a catalog of North American wildflowers. Walcott was catapulted to the highest levels of society and national politics by a late and bold marriage to the secretary of the Smithsonian. Along with an early (1887) transcontinental travelogue, never-before published correspondence with fellow Quaker and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, and Commissioner Mary Walcott’s reports for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, this biography reveals rich intersections of history, religion, politics, women’s studies, science, and art during the transformative times in which she lived. Walcott, and other intrepid women like her, who sought escape from Victorian social conventions and opportunity for adventure and self-expression in the American West, were gifted artists, writers, and historians.