While Abby Williams Hill: Western Pioneer and Landscape Artist is exhibiting at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn, Seattle Times reports that the artist has some hidden corset history.

While Ms Hill was a tough old bird, it seems that she could not abide the uncomfyness of the Victorian corsets.

Much of her landscapes were painted during her months camped on Vashon Island with her four children, and besides that she was the first woman to work for the Great Northern Railway on a full contract.

Yet when asked by her husband, Dr Frank Hill, to dress like other Victorian ladies in a corset and bustle, she said that she would wear the restrictive garment if he would deign to don a corset for a day.

Amazingly the doctor did indeed lace himself into a Victorian corset for 24 hours and never again made the request that his wife wear the uncomfortable item.

Luckily, corsets today are much more comfy and we have Ms Hill's artwork to look at to this day. She has been given plaudits from famous painter William Merritt Chase, who admired her remarkable dedication.

Although her works are not technically great, after having to raise a family of four, including a disabled son, her courage was extraordinary, which is brought to life in her paintings.


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