Carol Stuart Watson
August 14, 1931 – January 19, 1986
A Washington DC, Georgetown, Bethesda, Frederick, Annapolis, Alexandria
Fine Artist, Illustrator, Muralist, and Photographer
Carol was born at Georgetown Hospital in Washington DC on August 14, 1931. She was the first of seven children born to Dr. Leander Scales Stuart and Henrietta Christine Kreh Stuart. The family resided in Bethesda at that time and for many years afterward.
Carol attended Bethesda and Lynbrook Elementary Schools, Leland Junior High School, and Bethesda Chevy Chase High School. She was among the first students to attend and graduate from Montgomery Junior College, and then went on to the University of Maryland where she earned her fine arts degree in 1953 (a classmate and contemporary of Muppeteer Jim Henson).
After college she joined the staff of the Times-Herald newspaper in Washington DC. In 1954 she co-founded Georgetown’s community paper, The Georgetowner. In 1960 Carol founded Carriage Trade Publications in Georgetown with her husband David. Mrs. Watson’s illustrated historical scenes of Washington, DC, Georgetown, Alexandria, Annapolis, and Frederick, Maryland; …which were printed and widely circulated on postcards, calendars as well as prints for framing.
In 1976 she was commissioned to illustrate the official Bicentennial Map of Montgomery County; …a very large, handsome and colorful print; …a big undertaking as it depicts the many important homes and historical sites including a brief written description of each. These still hang on the walls of many government and business offices, and private homes throughout Maryland and beyond.
A commissioned slide-show of many animated water-color paintings depicting the rich history of Harper’s Ferry, WV was exhibited daily at the National Park Visitors Center there. Other ‘Federal’ projects included a large mural at the United States Chamber of Commerce depicting the “Romance of Lafayette Square.” She had even more fun making posters, coloring books, maps, calendars, and drawings; … even Panda Bear Mugs for the Friends of the National Zoo. There she delighted in making friends with both the animals and their care-takers. Carol especially loved cats – small and large!
Her work in television included courtroom drawings for the major networks of Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel’s Mail Fraud and Racketeering trial and the “Black Mafia” Hanafi trial.
A popular illustrator of children’s books, her pictures are found in publications such as “Where’s Rachel,” “Hurrah for Arthur” “Flower Fables,” “Hey, ey-ey-Lock – Adventures on the C&O Canal,” “Upstairs and Downstairs in a Victorian Doll House,” and many more.
In the years preceding her death at 54 years, Carol was employed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where she worked as a graphic illustrator for the Fleet Systems. As a side line she enjoyed designing Christmas Cards which were sold nationwide; …these designs appeared on notebooks, and wrapping paper and Christmas ornaments as well. In 1982 she won the Graphic Arts Award Competition sponsored by the Printing Industries of America for her design of Bear Branches Gift Wrap.
Carol was a natural and competitive cook; … of the Julia Child ilk. Every Sunday her kitchen was busy with the sights, sound, and smells of a royal feast for anyone who gathered through her open door for dinner. She illustrated many cookbooks, as well as dozens of local restaurant menus; … even won a contest for a mouth-watering Maryland Crab dish!
An accomplished and imaginative muralist, one of her major works is ‘Colonial Georgetown’ at Lockheed Headquarters (then Martin Marietta) in Bethesda. She did numerous murals for nurseries and dining rooms and other touches of interior design in many homes.
Carol did countless numbers of fine art paintings, drawings, greeting cards; …portraits; …furniture decorations, sculptures; …her creativity and productivity was staggering. She loved to do quick sketches of something that caught her attention and would combine them with her quick wit to the amusement of whoever was lucky enough to receive them.
Active in volunteer work, Mrs. Watson was involved with the Salvation Army, the Junior League of Washington DC, The Travelers Aid Society and The United Way among others.
A prolific artist, and a superb photographer; … Carol Stuart Watson just appreciated beauty in everything; … music, flowers, nature, family. Plants loved her too, if she wasn’t in the kitchen or studio you would find her tending her extensive rock gardens.
Her view of the world was as sensitive as any lens in a camera; …she missed very little; …lived very large; …and inspired many to great ambition; …’who could ask for anything more?’