Winslow, Marcella Comès
Photographer, Portrait painter
Active in Washington, D.C.
Size: Transcript: 30 pages
Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 17 min.
Collection Summary: An interview of Marcella Comès (Winslow) conducted 1982 May 4, by Estill Curtis Pennington, for the Archives of American Art. Interview of Marcella Comes Winslow, conducted by Estill Curtis (Buck) Pennington for the Archives of American Art, at her home in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1982. Ms. Winslow speaks of her art training at the Carnegie School of Fine Arts and in Europe; her first portrait commission; her first exhibitions in Pittsburgh, Pa.; her marriage to William Randolph Winslow and their relocation to Washington, D.C.; the Corcoran Gallery, the Phillips Gallery and the arts community in Washington, D.C., and exhibitions available in the 1940s and 1950s; the many Southern writers she painted and the Southern literary renaissance; her studio in Georgetown and how she came to live and work there and in New Hampshire; painting people realistically, and their reactions to that realism as they get older; her work with Artists Equity in Washington, D.C.; exhibiting in local galleries; the Whyte Gallery, the Obelisk, and the Bader Gallery, the Henri Gallery, and Jefferson Place; changing styles to cubism and abstraction from realism, and how cultural mood dictates artistic styles; her various interests outside of painting, including her garden, her grandchildren, and her house; and the changes in Washington, D.C., and Georgetown in particular, over the years that she has lived there. Ms. Winslow speaks in great detail about the people whose portraits she painted, including: Monsignor Francis Spellman; her mother-in-law, writer Anne Goodwin Winslow; Allen Tate, who introduced her to many of the writers she subsequently painted; Tates wife Caroline Gordon; John Crowe Ransom; John Peale Bishop; Robert Penn Warren; Katherine Anne Porter; Ezra Pound; Robert Lowell; Eudora Welty; Karl Shapiro; Leonie Adams; Elizabeth Bishop; Mark van Doren; Denis Devlin; Juan Ramon Jimenez; Katherine Chapin Biddle; Robert Frost; Richard Eberhart; Joanna Sturm; and Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Ms. Winslow also recalls Homer Saint-Gaudens, Robert Franklin (Bob) Gates, Margaret Casey Gates, William (Bill) Calfee, Sarah Baker, Bernice Cross, Mitchell Jamieson, Herman Williams, Bill Walton, and others.
Biographical/Historical Note: Marcella Comès (Winslow) (1905-2000) was a portrait painter, photographer of Washington, D.C. Known also as Marcella Comès and Marcella Rodange Comès.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.