Beulah Bettersworth grew up in St. Louis and studied at the Art Students League in New York. Among her teachers were John Sloan and George Bellows, who encouraged their students to go outside and experience the lively hustle of New York’s streets. Beulah married the illustrator Howard Bettersworth, and New York art critics praised her work in a 1933 show featuring the wives of prominent artists. She was asked to participate in subsequent exhibitions at prestigious institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Mural commissions for the New Deal took her from New York to Mississippi, where she made wall paintings of cotton plantations for U.S. post offices.