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Alice McGrann MALONE

Painter / Photographer / Writer

Born: 17 February 1807, Columbia, Pennsylvania USA

Died: 13 February 1888, Columbia, Pennsylvania USA

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Alice McGrann MALONE


Born: 28 September 1882, Columbia, Pennsylvania USA

Died: 16 May 1958, Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA

Illustration: Frances Starr Taylor, Lancaster New Era

Alice McGrann Malone moved to Lancaster at an early age. Her parents, Bernard Edmund Malone and Mary Jane Hook, felt there were more opportunities for them some miles up the road. Perhaps Bernard was drawn to Lancaster since his father, James, had become a well-known contractor in the city and elsewhere in the state. Or, it was just that Bernard wanted to move further away to make his mark. James Malone arrived in the county from County Cavanaugh, Ireland in 1846, First, he lived several years in Sunbury but subsequently moved to Marietta.

At about 9, Alice already showed a proclivity for art, having won an award at St. Mary's Academy. Indeed, her name pops up in numerous newspaper articles throughout her life in Lancaster. The 'arts' quickly became an integral aspect of her life. Later, she attended the School of Industrial Art, Philadelphia—the same as Gardiner Criswell. They often rubbed elbows in Lancaster since Alice was a charter member of the Lancaster County Art Association, like Gardiner, and a member of the Lancaster Sketch Club. They were likely friends since they would've interacted at all the same art functions. Later on, needing a new space for the Sketch Club to meet, Alice offered her home and studio at 122 East Lemon Street in Lancaster. When it came to the arts and her involvement in the art organizations, Alice was always among the first to volunteer her time. She's often cited for being a hostess for this or that exhibit, not to mention presenting her work at these events. She exhibited with the likes of Gardiner Criswell, Florence Starr Taylor, and Charles Demuth. 

Alice Malone was a lifelong dedicated Catholic and would do anything to support her church and school. Indeed, she was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. Yet, it appears she had a knack for playing cards, especially Bridge. She's often listed in news articles of the day as usually being among the winners. Her love for her church was for eternity. She chose to be buried in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery—not far from where she was educated. She spent her last few years living at the Stevens House, Lancaster.


Alice painted a lot. But, one of her favorite subjects was the Amish. She was infatuated with them and their lifestyle. When she became interested in photography in her twenties, she focused on the Amish life of Lancaster County. Indeed, Alice was among the very first to record the Amish in photographic form. Another Lancastrian, Frances D. Calder,  is considered the first. Mennonites were also of interest to her.



In 1930, Alice Malone, being a respected artist in the community, was asked to design a commemorative medal honoring Thaddeus Stevens. The commission was offered by Lancaster's Masonic Lodge 43. It seems an unusual request since Thaddeus Stevens was adamantly against Freemasonry and similar organizations. 

Alice Malone died at St. Joseph's Hospital in May of 1958 after a three-week illness. She never married. 

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