Mary Morris Vaux Walcott
(1860-1940) was born into one of the oldest, wealthiest,
and most prominent Quaker families in Philadelphia. She
began painting flowers at the age of eight, and studied
drawing while she attended the Friends Select School, a
Quaker institution in Philadelphia. Her family traveled
each summer to the Canadian Rockies, where Mary
developed into an amateur photographer, naturalist, and
In 1913, she met her husband,
Charles Walcott, who was the secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution and a well-known geologist and
invertebrate paleontologist. They married in 1914, and
the two made research trips to the Canadian Rockies for
three or four months each summer. While on these trips
with her husband, Mary sketched and painted the subjects
for her five-volume book, North American Wild
Flowers, published in 1925 by the Smithsonian
Charles Walcott died in 1927, but
Mary continued her sojourns to the Canadian Rockies
until 1939. She died in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, on
August 22, 1940. She was affiliated with the Alpine
Club, the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, and
served on the federal Board of Indian Commissioners from
1927 to 1932. She was elected president of the Society
of Woman Geographers in 1933.
The selection of prints offered
here is just a taste from this glorious work of 400 wild
flowers of North America. It is perhaps the
greatest comprehensive work on the topic ever published.
Each print will be accompanied by a copy of the title
page and the foreword, written by Mary Walcott.
These lithographs measure approximately 9 ¼ inches wide
by 12 ¼ inches long and are printed on a high quality,
creamy wove paper, with very strong plate marks which do
not show well in the digital images. The
illustrations are a testament to the artistic skills of
Walcott and a superb record of American wild flowers.
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