Ellen Isham Schutt (1873-1955) was an American botanical illustrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was born in Arlington, Virginia, and was one of seven children. Schutt worked for the USDA between 1904 and 1914, painting over 700 watercolors of fruits and nuts. Her subjects ranged from the common (apples, hickory nuts) to the then-exotic (bael, custard apple, cashew nuts), and quite a few show fruit damage from molds, insects, and other causes. Her precise and rather dry style resulted in watercolors that at times look more like drawings than paintings. She signed her USDA watercolors ‘E.I. Schutt’. Her work now forms part of the USDA National Agricultural Library’s Pomological Watercolor Collection.

Ellen Isham Schutt’s botanical illustrations were highly regarded for their accuracy and detail. Her work was instrumental in the development of modern pomology, the study of fruit cultivation. Her watercolors were used to create lithographs for USDA publications, which were distributed to farmers and growers across the United States. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, and her legacy continues to inspire botanical artists and illustrators today.