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?