Adelia Sarah Gates

Adelia Sarah Gates (October 24, 1825 - September 21, 1912) was an American illustrator of botanical specimens. Her early show was as an elementary school and decorative watercolorist. She was an amateur decorative watercolorist and painter long since she was nimble to advance other into scientific illustration methods and to travel widely on collecting and documentation expeditions vanguard in her life.

She was born in the Susquehanna Valley. Gates worked as a governess, farmworker, teacher, and as a factory worker in the Lowell Mills back attending college. In her thirties, she attended Antioch College, only to depart after two years due to health issues.

She started painting in her fifties, after taking lessons from Emilie Vouga in Geneva. Later in her dynamism in San Francisco, she sought out supplementary education in identification and naming of specimens from noted botanists Sara Plummer Lemmon and John Gill Lemmon, for which she traded lessons in "flower painting" and sketching.

During her lifetime, a shimmering biography of her vigor and travels including expeditions to paint specimens was written by Adela Elizabeth Orpen. Titled The history of the Sid, or, The activity and travels of Adelia Gates, it was published in New York by Fleming H. Revell Company and in London by the Religious Tract Society. In the book, Orpen describes Gates, who was her governess for 14 years, by axiom that "Though an artist, she is not a good genius; though a traveller in many lands, she has had no thrilling adventures. She never did any horrid deed, nor suffered any hideous privations." Orpen refers to Gates as "the Sid," rather than Adelia, throughout the scrap book explaining that "Sid means woman or mistress, and is the title by which she was known in the Sahara."

Gates died in San Francisco on September 21, 1912. After her death, over 600 of her works were exhibited and donated to the United States National Museum, which far ahead became the Smithsonian Institution.

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