Born in Canada, she found her true home in New York City, where she studied at the Art Students League (mural painting with Thomas Hart Benton) and the American Artists School (Frescoe painting with Lewis Roth). In 1933 she studied at the Workers School on 14th Street where Diego Rivera was working on frescoe panels.
For three years she worked in her Greenwich Village studio on a mural depicting the history of obstetrics from primitive child-birthing practices to ancient and medieval midwifery, culminating in scientific, safe childbirth. Called the History of Obstetrics, the mural was intended for a physician's library at Harlem Hospital. With the promise of W.P.A. officials that the mural would be exhibited in the H
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