Since the United States’ earliest days, the American West has lured artists eager to capture its beauty and vast uncharted terrain. Many of those pioneering artists were women.

“As men traveled west to search for gold, their wives followed. Many recorded the journey through painting or the written word,” said Linda Osmundson, author of How the West Was Drawn: Women’s Art.

BNSF’s corporate art collection, the oldest in the country, showcases some of these women artists’ work. Executives from our predecessor railroads commissioned artists—both men and women—to capture the spectacular scenery as a way to promote rail travel through the American West. Stunning locations like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park provided artists with endless subject matter.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, BNSF is proud to highlight women artists who had a crucial hand in our railroad’s history and immeasurable contribution to American art. Learn more about Grace Betts, Jessie Benton Evans, Lydia Dunham Fabian and others here.