Lorraine Newton, Punta Gorda, Fort Myers. A Seminole Woman, oil on Masonite, 20 by 16 inches. Signed with monogram lower right.


A well-known artist, copper plate designer, ceramicist, and metal worker, Lorraine Newton, taught art in her studio and with local art groups in the greater Lee and Charlotte County area of Florida for over thirty years. Fascinated by art and painting as a child, Newton had private instruction in life drawing in New York followed by three years study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where she majored in portraiture, with minors in jewelry design and architecture. From 1924 to 1938 Newton’s illustrations of children’s stories appeared regularly in the children’s magazine, John Martin’s Book and many other textbooks and magazines. She first came to Punta Gorda in 1945 after working in Washington, D.C. as a draftsman, translating blueprints of Navy ships into pictorial charts that showed the construction of the ship from a 60-degree angle. The Department of the Navy asked Newton to do isometric projections charts of the aircraft carrier Essex, some of which were nine feet long. In 1949 Newton designed three 12-foot square signs for the city of Punta Gorda publicizing the city as “The Sportsman’s Paradise. The signs, each bearing a picture of a large silver tarpon were erected at the foot of Collier Bridge on the Charlotte Harbor side, one on Highway 17, just inside the city limits, and the third on the Tamiami Trail near La Punta Park.  A tall woman and Iowan by birth, her grandfather made frontier history in the late 1800’s protecting the people of northwestern Iowa from Indian raids. Newton was a semi-professional swimmer in her youth, multilingual and a book lover with over 2000 books in her home at her death. Born: 1894, Iowa. Died: November 7, 1988, Punta Gorda. Education: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Membership: Charlotte County Art Guild, founding member; Art League of Fort Myers; Ceramics Guild of Fort Myers; Punta Gorda Arts and Crafts Guild. Exhibits: Punta Gorda Arts and Crafts Guild, November 29, 1950, metal work and carvings; metal marker surmounted by a rose for traffic circle on Tamiami Trail opposite Charlotte Harbor Hotel, April 1951; Southwest Florida County Fair, February 1956; Art League of Fort Myers at Exhibition Hall, November 1959, Hate Leadeth Anger; Southwest Florida County Fair, February 1959; Art League of Fort Myers, December 1960, portraits; Art League of Fort Myers, November 1961, oil portrait, Ceylon Drummer; Charlotte County Library, January 1963; Art League of Fort Myers, November 1963, a watercolor.

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