In this year leading up to Arizona's centennial, Feb. 14, 2012, we'll reprint a story or excerpts each day from the Arizona Daily Star or Tucson Citizen archives.

Nov. 6, 1912

Although they were not in the art department, the pictures of Mrs. John W. Estill, a well-known Tucson woman, which were on exhibition at the fair, attracted much attention and created endless comment, all favorable. The exhibit established Mrs. Estill's reputation as a painter of desert plants, says the Arizona Gazette.

Had her pictures been framed, Mrs. Estill would have taken many prizes in the art department. They were not framed, however, and the rules prevented them from being entered in competition. Mrs. Helen S. Bury, superintendent of the women's department took a great interest in Mrs. Estill's work and had the pictures hung in a prominent place. While she received no prizes, the fair management did the best it could for Mrs. Estill and gave her several special mentions.

Mrs. Estill paints the commonest desert plants, such as the sahuaro, ocotillo, prickly pear, barrel cactus, poppies and other flowers. Her coloring is simply wonderful. It is hardly possible that there could be more faithful reproductions of cacti and other Arizona plants.

All Mrs. Estill's work shows skill of the highest order. She is indeed a genius.

Painting is a mere pastime with Mrs. Estill. She is the wife of Councilman John W. Estill of Tucson, and one of the best-known women of Arizona.

- Arizona Daily Star

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