Belva Lockwood

Illustration of Belva Lockwood

Belva Lockwood • 2016 • 10″ x 12.5″

Here’s another piece in the same style as my Edith O’Gorman and the Language of Flowers illustration from last year. Like that one, she came from browsing the Library of Congress archives for interesting people. Again, in the spirit slightly odd vintage photo captions, she was described as “famous lawyer and bicycle rider.”

Belva Lockwood caught my eye because of her serious demeanor and more masculine clothing. She was one the first female lawyers to practice in the US, and the first to appear before the Supreme Court, overcoming “many social and personal restrictions relating to her gender.” She also was the first woman to appear as an official candidate (on printed ballots) as President of the United States, in 1884 and again in 1888 for the National Equal Rights Party. Had this photo been taken a little later, I’m guessing that would have been a more noteworthy description than “bicycle rider”.

For this interpretation using the language of flowers, I’ve adorned her background from bottom to top with the following:

  • Cactus, to represent endurance
  • Palm leaves, to represent victory and success
  • A crown of roses, to represent a reward of merit for her hard work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *