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Winter Park Library Archive

Marie Louise McComb

An artist with an eye for the quaintness of old Winter Park

Born on February 28th, 1883 in Louisville, Kentucky, Marie Louise McComb was an accomplished artist, best known for her watercolors. Throughout her lifetime, she lived in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Philadelphia, New York, and finally, Winter Park.

In the 1920s, Ms. McComb studied in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While there, she won a traveling scholarship (the Cresson Scholarship) which allowed her to tour Europe, visiting England, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. She took in the famous art galleries and viewed their noted works of art. On her return to the United States, she did many sketches of old Philadelphia, which were displayed at many galleries, among them, her alma mater, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Later, she was employed at newspapers (where she worked as a caricaturist) and magazines . . . where she worked as an illustrator.

She also spent many summers on Nantucket, where she painted the island’s narrow, winding streets and waterfront scenes. She once stated that she preferred the quaint scenes of small towns over the towering skyscrapers of large cities.

She moved to Winter Park with her sister (Mrs. George S. Atlee) in the early 1940s. It was not long after their arrival that they decided to make this quaint town their home. She became a familiar personality in Winter Park and could frequently be seen with her sketch pad . . . recording scenes around the town, from Hannibal Square to Park Avenue.

Her artwork was displayed at the Center Street Gallery, which was located at 136 Park Avenue South. Her exhibit was entitled: Scenes of Old Winter Park. It ran from December 26, 1969 through January 16th, 1970, and featured many of the town’s buildings, houses, and other landmarks. She was also known for her paintings of Old Philadelphia, her Pennsylvania Collection, and her Nantucket Collection.

Marie Louise McComb died on August 14th, 1973.

This article was written by former archivist, Barbara White, MLIS.