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Fanny Vandegrift, the daughter of an Indianapolis builder, followed her husband to the silver mines of Nevada in 1865 where she learned to shoot and roll her own cigarettes. Leaving her philandering husband, she settled in Oakland in 1869 and took up watercolor painting.
She moved with her three children to Europe in 1875. She met the author Robert Louis Stevenson, who followed her back to California where they wed in 1880.
Ethel A. Baird; by bequest to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1985.