Imaginative Individuals


Herman and Willa Menzel

Since they first met as students at the Chicago Academy of Art in 1923, Herman and Willa Menzel’s relationship was cemented by their mutual passion for art. While Willa took her talents to corporate America working as a designer on State Street in Chicago, Herman committed to life as an artist. Both found success over time, thanks in large part to their unwavering support for one another. Learn more about the impressive careers of these two talented artists. CLICK HERE!


Original sketch by Willa Menzel, no date.

Image of Herman and Willa Menzel, no date.

John Nash Ott filming a segment for NBC, c. 1960.

John Nash Ott

While many recognize long-time Winnetka resident John Nash Ott as the father of time-lapse photography, he was also an accomplished cinematographer and television personality who worked on tv shows and films for several major Hollywood studios, including the Walt Disney Company. Read about Ott’s impressive career, as well as his significant contributions to the worlds of art, science, and entertainment. READ HERE!

Eliot and Fairfield Porter

Photographer Eliot Porter and his brother, painter Fairfield Porter, grew up in Winnetka at 1085 Sheridan Road. Eliot Porter first gained nationwide recognition as a nature photographer, while Fairfield Porter achieved his reputation as a major American painter near the end of his life. Today, their work resides in the collections of most of the country’s major art museums. Read more about these important American artists. CLICK HERE!


Eliot Porter (left) and Fairfield Porter (right), undated.

Under the Elms by Fairfield Porter, 1971. Credit: Fairfield Porter: Realist Painter in an Age of Abstraction by John Ashbery and Kenworth Moffett, 1975.

Charles Haag

While he is best-known locally as the architect of Lola Maverick Lloyd’s unique home at 455 Birch, Charles Haag is also widely recognized as a talented designer and sculptor. Several of his pieces can be found in Winnetka, including the “Cornerstone of the Castle” sculpture on the grounds of Wayside, Henry Demarest Lloyd’s famous home on Sheridan Road. Learn about this multitalented Winnetkan and his many contributions to the village’s creative community. READ HERE!

Image of Charles Haag working in his studio in Winnetka, undated.

Charles Haag’s studio at 897 Cherry, undated.

Image of famed Winnetka-based photographer David Plowden. Credit: David Plowden Facebook.

David Plowden

World-famous photographer David Plowden was born in 1932 in Vermont. While working in the railroad industry after college, Plowden discovered his passion for urban and landscape photography. Since then, Plowden’s work has been featured in magazines, books, and exhibits around the world. Learn more about this longtime Winnetkans’ incredible work and philosophy on art. CLICK HERE!

Scroll through the gallery to see images of the work created by these imaginative individuals. CLICK HERE!

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