Agent 355
Art by Kate (tumblr)

"I intend to visit 727 [New York City] before long and think by the assistance of a 355 [lady] of my acquaintance, shall be able to outwit them all.” 
-Abraham Woodhull writing to Benjamin Tallmadge

The most mysterious member of the Culper Ring is a woman known as Agent 355.  The most common theory is that Agent 355 was a socialite from a Loyalist family.  Others have suggested Agent 355 might have been a servant in the home of a Loyalist family, however this contradicts the usage of the number 355.  The Culper code book had four designations for gender: man (371), gentleman (237), woman (701), and lady (355).  According to this code, a female servant would be a 701 while a 355 would be a woman from a prominent, affluent family.  Some have suggested Agent 355 was Culper Ring member Anna Strong.  However, Anna spent the war on Long Island near Abraham.  It is unlikely the two met in New York City.
In the 1940s, a theory circulated that Agent 355 was the secret lover of Robert Townsend and that she was arrested and bore his child in prison.  Robert did have son named Robert Jr. born out of wedlock, but he was born a year after the end of the American Revolution.  A Townsend family scrapbook lists Robert Jr. as the son of the family’s housekeeper Mary Banvard.  
There may have been a connection between Agent 355 and John André, head of British Intelligence.  Abraham Woodhull evade arrest thanks to a “friend” of John’s and the groups appears to have had greater access to information when John was in New York.  John André was a known ladies man with a tendency to underestimate women.  When British attack plans were leaked from a meeting at the Darrah family home in Philadelphia, John only questioned the men of the house.  It never occurred to him that 48 year old Lydia Darrah was one who tipped off the Continental Army.  A lady from New York City such as Agent 355 could be the link between John André and the Culper Ring.  
In AMC’s Turn, Agent 355 is a black servant named Abigail who offers to work with the Culper Ring if Anna Strong will protect her son.  A re-imagined version of Agent 355 can be found in the comic book Y: The Last Man. 

Agent 355

Art by Kate (tumblr)

"I intend to visit 727 [New York City] before long and think by the assistance of a 355 [lady] of my acquaintance, shall be able to outwit them all.” 

-Abraham Woodhull writing to Benjamin Tallmadge

The most mysterious member of the Culper Ring is a woman known as Agent 355.  The most common theory is that Agent 355 was a socialite from a Loyalist family.  Others have suggested Agent 355 might have been a servant in the home of a Loyalist family, however this contradicts the usage of the number 355.  The Culper code book had four designations for gender: man (371), gentleman (237), woman (701), and lady (355).  According to this code, a female servant would be a 701 while a 355 would be a woman from a prominent, affluent family.  Some have suggested Agent 355 was Culper Ring member Anna Strong.  However, Anna spent the war on Long Island near Abraham.  It is unlikely the two met in New York City.

In the 1940s, a theory circulated that Agent 355 was the secret lover of Robert Townsend and that she was arrested and bore his child in prison.  Robert did have son named Robert Jr. born out of wedlock, but he was born a year after the end of the American Revolution.  A Townsend family scrapbook lists Robert Jr. as the son of the family’s housekeeper Mary Banvard.  

There may have been a connection between Agent 355 and John André, head of British Intelligence.  Abraham Woodhull evade arrest thanks to a “friend” of John’s and the groups appears to have had greater access to information when John was in New York.  John André was a known ladies man with a tendency to underestimate women.  When British attack plans were leaked from a meeting at the Darrah family home in Philadelphia, John only questioned the men of the house.  It never occurred to him that 48 year old Lydia Darrah was one who tipped off the Continental Army.  A lady from New York City such as Agent 355 could be the link between John André and the Culper Ring.  

In AMC’s Turn, Agent 355 is a black servant named Abigail who offers to work with the Culper Ring if Anna Strong will protect her son.  A re-imagined version of Agent 355 can be found in the comic book Y: The Last Man. 

Re: Anna Strong

mynameiskleio Because a woman struggling to raise seven children on her own while her husband is being held captive just isn’t interesting enough so she has to be the childhood sweetheart of a leading male character?

They could have just done the love story between Abraham and his real wife Mary Smith- they didn’t marry until 1784.  Her family was pretty prominent too- they put the Smith in Smithtown, NY.  The house she grew up in is still standing today (Obadiah Smith House, Smithtown, NY).

For the confused: Post about Anna Strong

Anna Strong
Art by Megan Linger (tumblr)
In 1778, General George Washington ordered Benjamin Tallmadge to create an intelligence network in the New York City area.  Relying heavily on his childhood friends from Long Island, Benjamin formed the Culper Ring.
The Culper Ring was an elaborate scheme to transfer information about British forces in New York City to George Washington in New Windsor, a town sixty miles north of New York City.  Intelligence collected by the society reporter and shopkeeper Robert Townsend was carried sixty miles east to Setauket by Austin Roe, a Long Island tavern keeper.  Austin left Robert’s coded messages in a field where there were collected by a Setauket farmer named Abraham Woodhull.  Abraham transferred these messages to Caleb Brewster, a known smuggler.  Caleb took the information across the Long Island Sound to Connecticut where he met Benjamin Tallmadge who brought the information to George Washington.  Along the route, further coded information was added about the movements of British forces in Long Island and Connecticut.  The intelligence collected by the Culper Ring thwarted several British attacks and played an important role in the identification of Benedict Arnold as a traitor.  
Anna Strong served as a connection point between Abraham and Caleb. A black petticoat on Anna’s clothesline told Caleb a message was ready.  She hung between one and six handkerchiefs to let Abraham known which cove Caleb was hiding in.  In the image above, Anna is letting Abraham know Caleb is the first cove.  
Turn, AMC’s new series about the Culper Ring, portrays Anna as the childhood sweetheart of Abraham Woodhull.  In reality, Anna was ten years older than Abraham and by 1778, the mother of seven children. Her husband Selah was imprisoned by the British and the couple spent the majority of the war apart.  Afterwards, Anna gave birth to her last child, a son named George Washington Strong.

Anna Strong

Art by Megan Linger (tumblr)

In 1778, General George Washington ordered Benjamin Tallmadge to create an intelligence network in the New York City area.  Relying heavily on his childhood friends from Long Island, Benjamin formed the Culper Ring.

The Culper Ring was an elaborate scheme to transfer information about British forces in New York City to George Washington in New Windsor, a town sixty miles north of New York City.  Intelligence collected by the society reporter and shopkeeper Robert Townsend was carried sixty miles east to Setauket by Austin Roe, a Long Island tavern keeper.  Austin left Robert’s coded messages in a field where there were collected by a Setauket farmer named Abraham Woodhull.  Abraham transferred these messages to Caleb Brewster, a known smuggler.  Caleb took the information across the Long Island Sound to Connecticut where he met Benjamin Tallmadge who brought the information to George Washington.  Along the route, further coded information was added about the movements of British forces in Long Island and Connecticut.  The intelligence collected by the Culper Ring thwarted several British attacks and played an important role in the identification of Benedict Arnold as a traitor.  

Anna Strong served as a connection point between Abraham and Caleb. A black petticoat on Anna’s clothesline told Caleb a message was ready.  She hung between one and six handkerchiefs to let Abraham known which cove Caleb was hiding in.  In the image above, Anna is letting Abraham know Caleb is the first cove.  

Turn, AMC’s new series about the Culper Ring, portrays Anna as the childhood sweetheart of Abraham Woodhull.  In reality, Anna was ten years older than Abraham and by 1778, the mother of seven children. Her husband Selah was imprisoned by the British and the couple spent the majority of the war apart.  Afterwards, Anna gave birth to her last child, a son named George Washington Strong.

Mary Anning 
Art by Annie Wilkinson (tumblr)
Mary was a fossil collector and paleontologist from Lyme Regis, England.  Lyme Regis is part of the Jurassic Coast, an area unusually rich in fossils.  The Anning family collected and sold fossils in order to supplement their meager income.  As children, Mary and her brother Joseph found the first complete Ichthyosaur.  Mary went on to find the first complete Plesiosaurus (1823), the first British Pterosaur (1828), and a Squaloraja (1829).  At the age of 27 Mary opened Anning’s Fossil Depot, which quickly became a popular destination for tourists and scientists alike.  Fossil collecting was dangerous work and in 1833 Mary lost her dog and nearly lost her life in a landslide.
A working class woman, Mary followed scientific journals but did not publish in them.  Often the men who bought her fossils neglected to include Mary’s name in the articles they published, an omission that understandably made Mary resentful.  However some collectors such as Thomas James Birch, Henry De la Beche, and William Buckland recognized the importance of Mary’s work and organized remuneration.  
More information: Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology (Stuff You Missed in History Class) 

Mary Anning 

Art by Annie Wilkinson (tumblr)

Mary was a fossil collector and paleontologist from Lyme Regis, England.  Lyme Regis is part of the Jurassic Coast, an area unusually rich in fossils.  The Anning family collected and sold fossils in order to supplement their meager income.  As children, Mary and her brother Joseph found the first complete Ichthyosaur.  Mary went on to find the first complete Plesiosaurus (1823), the first British Pterosaur (1828), and a Squaloraja (1829).  At the age of 27 Mary opened Anning’s Fossil Depot, which quickly became a popular destination for tourists and scientists alike.  Fossil collecting was dangerous work and in 1833 Mary lost her dog and nearly lost her life in a landslide.

A working class woman, Mary followed scientific journals but did not publish in them.  Often the men who bought her fossils neglected to include Mary’s name in the articles they published, an omission that understandably made Mary resentful.  However some collectors such as Thomas James Birch, Henry De la Beche, and William Buckland recognized the importance of Mary’s work and organized remuneration.  

More information: Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology (Stuff You Missed in History Class) 

wiscohisto:

On this day in 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in Washington, D.C. 
One of the 28 women who participated in this founding meeting of NOW was Sparta, Wisconsin native Kathryn F. Clarenbach, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On her death in 1994, the New York Times described Clarenbach as a founder of modern feminism.
This photo shows Professor Clarenbach, seated on the right, with Wisconsin Governor Robert Knowles and the Committee on the Status of Women Midwest Conference in 1967. 
via: The University of Wisconsin Collection, UW-Madison Archives. An oral history interview with Clarenbach is also available through the Archives.

wiscohisto:

On this day in 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in Washington, D.C.

One of the 28 women who participated in this founding meeting of NOW was Sparta, Wisconsin native Kathryn F. Clarenbach, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On her death in 1994, the New York Times described Clarenbach as a founder of modern feminism.

This photo shows Professor Clarenbach, seated on the right, with Wisconsin Governor Robert Knowles and the Committee on the Status of Women Midwest Conference in 1967. 

via: The University of Wisconsin Collection, UW-Madison Archives. An oral history interview with Clarenbach is also available through the Archives.

Jeanne Villepreux-Power (1794-1871)
Art by Maliha C. (tumblr)
The daughter of a shoemaker, Jeanne trained as a dressmaker in Paris before marrying and moving to Sicily with her husband.  In Sicily, Jeanne became fascinated by the sea and created the first aquarium for scientific experiments.  She actually invented three aquariums: a glass aquarium similar to those seen in homes today, a glass aquarium surrounded by a cage that could be submerged in water, and a caged aquarium that could be sunk and anchored deeper in the sea.
Jeanne was particularly interested in mollusks.  At the time, there was debate over whether or not the Argonauta argo produced its own shell.  Jeanne proved that the Argonauta argo bothcreated its own shell and repaired its own shell.  

Jeanne Villepreux-Power (1794-1871)

Art by Maliha C. (tumblr)

The daughter of a shoemaker, Jeanne trained as a dressmaker in Paris before marrying and moving to Sicily with her husband.  In Sicily, Jeanne became fascinated by the sea and created the first aquarium for scientific experiments.  She actually invented three aquariums: a glass aquarium similar to those seen in homes today, a glass aquarium surrounded by a cage that could be submerged in water, and a caged aquarium that could be sunk and anchored deeper in the sea.

Jeanne was particularly interested in mollusks.  At the time, there was debate over whether or not the Argonauta argo produced its own shell.  Jeanne proved that the Argonauta argo bothcreated its own shell and repaired its own shell.  

Sophie Germain (1776-1831)
Art by Caitlin (tumblr, etsy, facebook)
A largely self-taught mathematician and physicist, Sophie was a pioneer of elasticity theory who also developed several novel approaches to Fermat’s Last Theorem.  Although both her gender and the French Revolution limited her formal education, Sophie corresponded with noted scientists such as Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Adrien-Marie Legendre, and Carl Friedrich Gauss.  A bold thinker, she was the only person to enter a contest sponsored by the Paris Academy of Sciences to find the applied mathematical theory behind the vibrations of an elastic surface.  Her work on this subject influences the construction of skyscrapers today.  Yet despite these accomplishments, she received almost no acclaim during her lifetime.  
In 1913, historian H.J. Mozans wrote:

All things considered, she was probably the most profoundly intellectual woman that France has ever produced. And yet, strange as it may seem, when the state official came to make out her death certificate, he designated her as a “rentière-annuitant” (a single woman with no profession)—not as a “mathématicienne.” Nor is this all. When the Eiffel Tower was erected, there was inscribed on this lofty structure the names of seventy-two savants. But one will not find in this list the name of that daughter of genius, whose researches contributed so much toward establishing the theory of the elasticity of metals—Sophie Germain. Was she excluded from this list for the same reason she was ineligible for membership in the French Academy—because she was a woman? If such, indeed, was the case, more is the shame for those who were responsible for such ingratitude toward one who had deserved so well of science, and who by her achievements had won an enviable place in the hall of fame. (Quote via Nova)

Sophie Germain (1776-1831)

Art by Caitlin (tumblr, etsy, facebook)

A largely self-taught mathematician and physicist, Sophie was a pioneer of elasticity theory who also developed several novel approaches to Fermat’s Last Theorem.  Although both her gender and the French Revolution limited her formal education, Sophie corresponded with noted scientists such as Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Adrien-Marie Legendre, and Carl Friedrich Gauss.  A bold thinker, she was the only person to enter a contest sponsored by the Paris Academy of Sciences to find the applied mathematical theory behind the vibrations of an elastic surface.  Her work on this subject influences the construction of skyscrapers today.  Yet despite these accomplishments, she received almost no acclaim during her lifetime.  

In 1913, historian H.J. Mozans wrote:

All things considered, she was probably the most profoundly intellectual woman that France has ever produced. And yet, strange as it may seem, when the state official came to make out her death certificate, he designated her as a “rentière-annuitant” (a single woman with no profession)—not as a “mathématicienne.” Nor is this all. When the Eiffel Tower was erected, there was inscribed on this lofty structure the names of seventy-two savants. But one will not find in this list the name of that daughter of genius, whose researches contributed so much toward establishing the theory of the elasticity of metals—Sophie Germain. Was she excluded from this list for the same reason she was ineligible for membership in the French Academy—because she was a woman? If such, indeed, was the case, more is the shame for those who were responsible for such ingratitude toward one who had deserved so well of science, and who by her achievements had won an enviable place in the hall of fame. (Quote via Nova)

Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze (1758-1836)
Art by April Babcock (tumblr)
At the age of thirteen, Marie-Anne married Antoine Lavoisier, a 28 year old chemist.  Antoine is known as the “Father of Modern Chemistry.”  He named oxygen and hydrogen and showed these gases could be measured in a closed vessel.  He disproved the Phlogiston theory and discovered the role oxygen plays in combustion.    
Marie-Anne and Antoine worked so closely together that it is somewhat difficult to separate their accomplishments.  Notes from Antoine’s lab show numerous entries written by Marie-Anne and their work is often considered a joint enterprise.  At the very least, she was a deeply devoted assistant in his scientific lab.  Trained in art by Jacques-Louis David, Marie-Anne sketched Antoine’s experiments and apparatuses, providing the the drawings for his book The Elements of Chemistry.  Fluent in English and Latin, Marie-Anne translated numerous scientific texts and wrote her own commentary.  
Antoine was arrested during the Reign of Terror and although Marie-Anne fought for his release, Antoine was executed on May 8, 1794.  Marie-Anne spent 65 days in jail.  Marie-Anne’s scientific work ended when her husband died.

Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze (1758-1836)

Art by April Babcock (tumblr)

At the age of thirteen, Marie-Anne married Antoine Lavoisier, a 28 year old chemist.  Antoine is known as the “Father of Modern Chemistry.”  He named oxygen and hydrogen and showed these gases could be measured in a closed vessel.  He disproved the Phlogiston theory and discovered the role oxygen plays in combustion.    

Marie-Anne and Antoine worked so closely together that it is somewhat difficult to separate their accomplishments.  Notes from Antoine’s lab show numerous entries written by Marie-Anne and their work is often considered a joint enterprise.  At the very least, she was a deeply devoted assistant in his scientific lab.  Trained in art by Jacques-Louis David, Marie-Anne sketched Antoine’s experiments and apparatuses, providing the the drawings for his book The Elements of Chemistry.  Fluent in English and Latin, Marie-Anne translated numerous scientific texts and wrote her own commentary.  

Antoine was arrested during the Reign of Terror and although Marie-Anne fought for his release, Antoine was executed on May 8, 1794.  Marie-Anne spent 65 days in jail.  Marie-Anne’s scientific work ended when her husband died.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
Art by Mark Tomczak (tumblr)
Maria is the author of the first book to discuss both differential and integral calculus.  The curve which is today known as the Witch of Agnesi was discovered by Fermat in 1630 and mentioned in Maria’s text.  The curve was named after Maria when John Colson translated her book into English.
A deeply religious woman, Maria wished to become a nun.  As the eldest of twenty three children, her father wanted her to stay at home and help with her siblings and half-siblings.  Within the boundaries of her family, Maria created a nun-like life for herself.  She never married and spent much of her life secluded with her family.  In 1750, she was appointed to the University of Bologna by Pope Benedict XIV, but she never took up the position.  Instead, she spent the rest of her life studying theology and caring for the sick and indigent.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)

Art by Mark Tomczak (tumblr)

Maria is the author of the first book to discuss both differential and integral calculus.  The curve which is today known as the Witch of Agnesi was discovered by Fermat in 1630 and mentioned in Maria’s text.  The curve was named after Maria when John Colson translated her book into English.

A deeply religious woman, Maria wished to become a nun.  As the eldest of twenty three children, her father wanted her to stay at home and help with her siblings and half-siblings.  Within the boundaries of her family, Maria created a nun-like life for herself.  She never married and spent much of her life secluded with her family.  In 1750, she was appointed to the University of Bologna by Pope Benedict XIV, but she never took up the position.  Instead, she spent the rest of her life studying theology and caring for the sick and indigent.

Émilie du Châtelet
Art by Fiona Hill (tumblr)
Émilie is best known for her 1759 translation of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.  It is still the leading French translation today.   A close romantic and professional companion of Voltaire, Émilie wrote on a wide variety of subjects including mathematics, physics, philosophy, and female education.
In 1737, Émilie published a paper on the nature of fire which foresaw the discovery of infrared radiation by William Hershel in 1800.  Frustrated by the lack of cohesion between the work of Isaac Newton and the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Émilie combined elements of both along with the work of other scientists in Institutions de Physique.  Created as a textbook for her thirteen year old son, the book was published anonymously in 1740 and soon became popular in France.  
On September 4, 1749, Émilie gave birth to her fourth child, a daughter named Stanislas-Adélaïde du Châtelet, the biological daughter of the poet Jean François de Saint-Lambert.  A week later, Émilie died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 42.

Émilie du Châtelet

Art by Fiona Hill (tumblr)

Émilie is best known for her 1759 translation of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.  It is still the leading French translation today.   A close romantic and professional companion of Voltaire, Émilie wrote on a wide variety of subjects including mathematics, physics, philosophy, and female education.

In 1737, Émilie published a paper on the nature of fire which foresaw the discovery of infrared radiation by William Hershel in 1800.  Frustrated by the lack of cohesion between the work of Isaac Newton and the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Émilie combined elements of both along with the work of other scientists in Institutions de Physique.  Created as a textbook for her thirteen year old son, the book was published anonymously in 1740 and soon became popular in France.  

On September 4, 1749, Émilie gave birth to her fourth child, a daughter named Stanislas-Adélaïde du Châtelet, the biological daughter of the poet Jean François de Saint-Lambert.  A week later, Émilie died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 42.

Maria Winkelmann Kirch (1670-1720)
Art by Esther Polak (website, tumblr)
Maria is best known as the first woman to discover a comet (C/1702H1).  However, during her lifetime the discovery was generally credited to her husband Gottfried because he published the initial finding.  Gottfried admitted it was Maria’s discovery, but that information was unclear in the original paper.  The confusion may have been unintentional as the results were published in a prestigious Latin journal and Maria preferred to write in German.
During their marriage, Maria assisted Gottfried, the official astronomer of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, in creating calenders and almanacs for navigation.  These were very important and profitable materials for the Academy and required a great deal of skill to make.  Maria also published under her own name in German and was known in astronomical circles for her work on the movement of the planets.  
After Gottfried’s death in 1710, Maria attempted to take over her husband’s role as the Academy’s calendar maker.  Although she had the support of the Academy’s president and had fulfilled her husband’s obligations during his illness, her request was denied.  Maria was admitted as a member of the Academy and six years later she became an assistant to her son Christfried, the newly appointed director of the Academy’s observatory.  After Maria’s death in 1720, her three daughters continued to assist Christfried.

Maria Winkelmann Kirch (1670-1720)

Art by Esther Polak (website, tumblr)

Maria is best known as the first woman to discover a comet (C/1702H1).  However, during her lifetime the discovery was generally credited to her husband Gottfried because he published the initial finding.  Gottfried admitted it was Maria’s discovery, but that information was unclear in the original paper.  The confusion may have been unintentional as the results were published in a prestigious Latin journal and Maria preferred to write in German.

During their marriage, Maria assisted Gottfried, the official astronomer of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, in creating calenders and almanacs for navigation.  These were very important and profitable materials for the Academy and required a great deal of skill to make.  Maria also published under her own name in German and was known in astronomical circles for her work on the movement of the planets.  

After Gottfried’s death in 1710, Maria attempted to take over her husband’s role as the Academy’s calendar maker.  Although she had the support of the Academy’s president and had fulfilled her husband’s obligations during his illness, her request was denied.  Maria was admitted as a member of the Academy and six years later she became an assistant to her son Christfried, the newly appointed director of the Academy’s observatory.  After Maria’s death in 1720, her three daughters continued to assist Christfried.

fordlibrarymuseum:

A First Lady Flag

After noticing the national flags flying on diplomats’ cars as they arrived at the White House as well as the American and Presidential flags displayed on the President’s car, Betty Ford had a question: “If the President gets flags, why shouldn’t the First Lady?”

In answer Dick Hartwig, then the head of Mrs. Ford’s Secret Service detail, and Rick Sardo, the White House Marine Corps aide, presented her with this specially designed flag on June 24, 1975. Sarah Brinkerhoff, a friend of Hartwig, handmade the pennant for the First Lady’s limousine.

Made of blue satin and trimmed in white lace with blue and red stars, the flag features a pair of red and white bloomers in the center as a play on Mrs. Ford’s maiden name, Bloomer. White text above the bloomers reads, “Don’t Tread on Me.” The letters “E.R.A.” below stand for the Equal Rights Amendment, an indication of Mrs. Ford’s strong support for the proposed amendment that would have given women equality under law through the United States Constitution.

Although it had been designed for her car Mrs. Ford kept the flag on display on her desk in the East Wing.

Images: Betty Ford’s "Bloomer" flag; Betty Ford proudly displays her flag with Dick Hartwig, Rick Sardo, White House photographer David Hume Kennerly, and East Wing staff members Kaye Pullen and Carolyn Porembka on June 24, 1975 (White House photograph A5197-15A).

pbstv:

Relive 1964’s Freedom Summer and the dramatic struggle for equality in Mississippi.

TONIGHT (6/24) americanexperiencepbs's Freedom Summer premieres at 9/8c.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)
Art by Claire DeWilde (website)
Born into a creative family, Maria began her artistic training as a young girl and eventually married the painter Johann Andreas Graff.  While most women in Maria’s position funneled their creativity into the husband’s career by acting as his assistant, Maria maintained an independent career as a painter and teacher.  In her thirties, Maria published The New Book of Flowers, a set of 36 engravings meant to serve as a model book for other artists, and The Caterpillar Book, which documented the life stages of moths and butterflies.   
Maria and Johann divorced in 1692 after several years of living apart.  Maria and her two daughters set up a studio in Amsterdam where they produced botanical and entomological artwork.  In 1699, Maria and her daughter Dorothea traveled to Suriname.  For two years the women studied the native insects and plants of Suriname, often preserving the Native American names and uses.  In 1701, the two women returned to the Netherlands and began work on The Insects of Suriname which was published in 1705.  
Maria died in 1717.  After her death, Dorothea ensured the continuing circulation of Maria’s work by publishing new and expanded editions of her books.  Maria documented the life cycle of 186 insects in two different countries and she remains one of the most important figures in the history of entomology. 
If you like Maria Sibylla Merian, you should also check out Jane Colden.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Art by Claire DeWilde (website)

Born into a creative family, Maria began her artistic training as a young girl and eventually married the painter Johann Andreas Graff.  While most women in Maria’s position funneled their creativity into the husband’s career by acting as his assistant, Maria maintained an independent career as a painter and teacher.  In her thirties, Maria published The New Book of Flowers, a set of 36 engravings meant to serve as a model book for other artists, and The Caterpillar Book, which documented the life stages of moths and butterflies.   

Maria and Johann divorced in 1692 after several years of living apart.  Maria and her two daughters set up a studio in Amsterdam where they produced botanical and entomological artwork.  In 1699, Maria and her daughter Dorothea traveled to Suriname.  For two years the women studied the native insects and plants of Suriname, often preserving the Native American names and uses.  In 1701, the two women returned to the Netherlands and began work on The Insects of Suriname which was published in 1705.  

Maria died in 1717.  After her death, Dorothea ensured the continuing circulation of Maria’s work by publishing new and expanded editions of her books.  Maria documented the life cycle of 186 insects in two different countries and she remains one of the most important figures in the history of entomology

If you like Maria Sibylla Merian, you should also check out Jane Colden.