Caroline Williams


Caroline Williams


Northern Kentucky Church

7 1/2 x 9 inches

Signed Lower Right

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Williams was born in Covington in 1908 and grew up in College Hill. She studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the Art Students League of New York.

She started at The Enquirer as a staff artist in 1932, following in her father’s footsteps. Carll B. Williams had been director of The Enquirer art department and was known for illustrating Robert F. Schulkers’ "Seckatary Hawkins" stories.

Enquirer librarian Harry Pence published several of her “sprightly sketches” in June 1932. A few months later, on Nov. 13, Williams debuted her series, “A Spot in Cincinnati,” with a sketch of the city skyline as seen from Liberty Hill. Her “Spot” sketches, along with historic facts she researched herself, ran weekly until Nov. 25, 1979 (a sketch of Plum Street Temple and St. Peter in Chains Cathedral).

In the meantime, Williams became a local celebrity. Readers clipped her drawings from the newspaper and kept their own scrapbooks. She published several books collecting her illustrations, including “The City on Seven Hills” (1938), “Mirrored Landmarks of Cincinnati” (1939), “As Always – Cincinnati” (1951) and “Cincinnati – Steeples, Streets and Steps” (1962).

Williams became a freelancer in 1945, and moved to Burlington, where she lived in a century-old log cabin. She converted the chicken house to hold her own printing presses that she used to print her books.

What made Williams’ art unique was her personal vision. She saw the neglected corners of the city as well as the celebrated structures and captured the changing landscape as time and urbanization took its toll.

“In her own way, this talented person can be credited with preserving landmarks, many of which are fated to the bulldozer and wrecker in the name of progress,” The Enquirer’s Carole Valentine wrote in 1968.

Williams passed away in 1988 at age 79.