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Why I Created the Lizzie Humphries Portrait

When I learned of the remarkable 'Lady Globetrotter' that was Lizzie Humphries, I just knew I had to draw her portrait.

Pastel portrait of The Lady Globetrotter Lizzie Humphries
Elizabeth Ann Yates, Later Lizzie Humphries 'The Lady Globetrotter'

Not only did she attempt to explore the globe on foot after accepting a challenge in 1911 from New York's Polo Monthly magazine (to walk 48,000 miles in four years for a whopping $10,000), she carried on with her feat after her husband left her (taking their money with him).

Alone in Europe with no financial means (the $10,000 offered by the magazine would only be paid on completion of the challenge), Lizzie had to take on an agent who would promote her globetrotting and secure bookings for her to give travel talks. Needs must, but this necessity of an agent securing bookings for which she could be paid meant that Lizzie ended up stuck in Europe for longer than she had planned, unable to leave the continent to continue her trot across the rest of the globe.

The outbreak of World War I forced Lizzie off the continent and put an end to her life as The Lady Globetrotter, but you can't keep a walker from walking for long. After travelling from Dusseldorf to England (her native country), she returned to America and, in 1914, walked from New York to San Francisco in the hope of raising money for the Red Cross.

What a woman! Once I knew her story, I simply had to put pastel to paper.

Lizzie is one of three remarkable 20th Century women I've drawn. If you'd like to see me do more, let me know.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Lizzie, check out this great post about her on a blog about illustrated sheet music, which includes the reference photo I used as well as a great little video of Lizzie in Europe, or visit the Calderdale Museum website to learn about her connection to the Yorkshire borough.

To buy the portrait, which is currently being offered for just £150 (unframed) plus P&P as part of the Artist Support Pledge, contact me via the contact form on the homepage.

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