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Kiss Me and You'll Kiss the 'Lasses

In 1850 Lilly Martin Spencer wrote to her mother saying that she was "all wayes running but seldom catching up." If her frustration has a contemporary ring, many aspects of her indeed find parallels in women's lives today. She was married, had two children, attended evening classes at the National Academy of Design, and was trying to paint and sell her work. In an era when most women were expected to devote all of their time to domestic duties, Spencer's life was unusual because she was a professional artist and her family's main source of income, ironically, her humorous paintings of women in traditional roles brought Spencer her greatest success.

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