By Edith Guerrier
The tale of the lifestyles and a number of other careers of Edith Guerrier, who embodied the beliefs of the "New girls" in turn-of-the century the US
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Additional info for An independent woman: the autobiography of Edith Guerrier
She lived part of her girlhood in the territory of Kansas during the decades of the country's westward expansion, adventitiously became involved in settlement house work, and through that experience, in libraries, helped to Page xxiv found a pottery that now holds a secure place in the history of the Arts and Crafts movement, and served in Herbert Hoover's National Food Administration during the First World War. Approaching fifty by the end of the war, she continued to be actively involved in the library profession until she retired at the age of seventy, but she was no longer, as she had been during her first fifty years, at the cutting edge of the generation.
In the course of her work in the museum, however, she met another student, a "pretty young thing, shy as a fawn, [who] stood day after day with her eyes fixed on her work. Apparently no one spoke to her and apparently she spoke to no one.... One day, in passing her easel, I spoke to her. She replied without raising her eyes. " Edith Brown quickly became one of the most significant figures in her life, her closest friend and colleague, with whom she shared her professional and domestic life for forty years, until Brown's death.
As new women, used to improvising their own lives, their lack of experience did not deter them then, as it had not before. They perfected their skills in the basement of their home with the help of girls from the library clubs. " and they began to dream of a "little pottery in a garden where flowers would bloom from April to November, and where from November to April in warm, well-lighted rooms the girls would work happily at their benches" (p. 86). 9 Convinced that the pottery would offer worthwhile and dignified employment to the young women, and still wanting to encourage the library clubs, Helen Storrow bought the Hull Street building for a library clubhouse and the pottery in 1908.
An independent woman: the autobiography of Edith Guerrier by Edith Guerrier