From a 1994 article by Victoria Donohoe, Inquirer Art Critic:
It's said that the decades after the Civil War in America produced, in a rising level of prosperity, some of the most powerful and picturesque personalities in our nation's history.
That was an era of robber barons and incompetent politicians, to be sure, but also of utopian reformers with dreams for the betterment of mankind. And it was an era of major creative talents in the arts and literature who had to make their mark in Europe before finding patrons on this side of the Atlantic.
During this period, a series of women ruled social life in some major cities - in New York, for instance - with particular vim and vigor between the third quarter of the 19th century and World War I. Afterward came flappers and another round of prosperity in the 1920s, but those good times were quite unlike the ones experienced earlier.
Seemingly in response to this contrast of eras, Mary Petty staked her whole 40-year career as a cover artist and cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine between 1927 and 1966 on elucidating the difference. She zeroed in on what, to her, was the clear superiority of a way of life being lived around her in her youth.
There are lots more examples at Google Image
|29 Apr.1899 New York City (12 noon)|
She was part of a generation with both Pluto and Neptune in communicative Gemini, a generation which, in adulthood during the 1920s onward gave us some memorable writers, artists and communicators in general. Her natal Mercury sextiles both Gemini outers, while Saturn opposes Neptune from Sagittarius. The Saturnian reflection upon Neptune's creativity could be seen as Ms Petty's gravitation to, and preference for, illustrating older, traditional lifestyles.
Ms Petty was married to another cartoonist, Alan Dunn, and thereby does hang a tale. A cartoon of Dunn's (below) is credited with inspiring the Fermi Paradox.
In 1950, while working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fermi had a casual conversation while walking to lunch with colleagues Emil Konopinski, Edward Teller and Herbert York. The men discussed a recent spate of UFO reports and an Alan Dunn cartoon facetiously blaming the disappearance of municipal trashcans on marauding aliens. The conversation shifted to other subjects, until during lunch Fermi suddenly exclaimed, "Where are they?" (alternatively, "Where is everybody?"). Teller remembers, "The result of his question was general laughter because of the strange fact that in spite of Fermi's question coming from the clear blue, everybody around the table seemed to understand at once that he was talking about extraterrestrial life." Herbert York recalls that Fermi followed up on his comment with a series of calculations on the probability of Earth-like planets, the probability of life, the likely rise and duration of high technology, etc., and concluded that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over.