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'''Born:''' December 29, 1882
[[Image(Unidentified young woman.jpg,500,thumbnail,left,"Unidentified young woman, possibly as a sample of MacDowell's photography, undated. Courtesy of Marsha Morgan.")]]
[[br]]'''Born:''' December 29, 1882
Photograph of Moody Pond and Mt. Baker, probably by Winchester MacDowell, undated. Courtesy of Marsha MacDowell Morgan. Unidentified young woman, possibly as a sample of MacDowell's photography, undated. Courtesy of Marsha Morgan. Born: December 29, 1882
Married: Clara Brown
Winchester MacDowell, Sr. was an artist, photographer and sign painter who lived at 35 Charles Street and at 36 Franklin Avenue. He developed a method of painting ice for skating in the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival that was adopted by the touring International Ice Follies. This led to work painting sets for the movie, Ice Follies of 1939, starring James Stewart and Joan Crawford.
Reading1 Eagle, April 23, 1939
Add Unusual Occupations
To Hollywood, land of extraordinary jobs, Winchester MacDowell brought a new one. He paints ice. MacDowell originally a sign painter hailing from Saranac Lake, N. Y., got the idea after watching ice carnivals staged by his son-in-law. Why not decorate the ice to enhance the color of the skating acts, he reasoned. So for more than eight years now he has been doing just that and during the past year has worked with the "International Ice Follies," painting the ice for their ballet numbers. When the troupe came to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for "The Ice Follies of 1939," starring Joan Crawford, and now at Loew's, MacDowell came with them. His painting is done free-hand in water colors which are frozen right into the ice. He works ambidextrously with a brush attached to a long rod in either hand. The size of the brush varies according to the decoration required. First he sprays on his background color, then fills in his designs. The colors take from six to eight hours to set, after which the ice is flooded and another quarter-inch coating frozen over the top.
Lake Placid News, March 10, 1939
ICE FOLLIES AT SARANAC HOUSE THIS WEEK-END
Joan Crawford Starred in Extravagant that Combines "Story" with Figure Skating
Back to the type of role in which she rose to stardom comes Joan Crawford in "The Ice Follies of 1939," which opens at the Pontiac Theatre for a two-day stand.
A picture designed for the entire family, "The Ice Follies of 1939" has "everything." There are breath-taking beautiful Technicolor skating scenes for those who like pageantry in the films; a story with a Hollywood background and intimate glimpses into studio life; original songs destined to take first place on the popular poll lists of the country.
An interesting sidelight on the film is that the ice decorations for the skating scenes were painted by Winchester MacDowell of Saranac Lake, and father-in-law of Gus Lussi of this village.
"The Ice Follies of 1939," deals with the story of a team of fancy skaters, portrayed by James Stewart and Lew Ayres. When Stewart married Joan Crawford and adds her to the double act, trouble ensues. The loss of a job in a skating rink causes the girl to seek employment on her own and because of her unusual voice she lands a film contract and signs it before she notices the "no marriage" clause buried in the legal terms. The three finally drift apart, Stewart to seek backing for his dream of staging an Ice Follies, Ayres to one night stands in skating rinks, and Miss Crawford to film stardom…