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Coffin, Patricia

(d. 1974)

Though a busy magazine editor most of her life, especially at Look Magazine, Coffin was also a prolific watercolorist. Many of her paintings were done on Nantucket where she vacationed for a month each summer; usually at her electricity-free duck shack on Quidnet Pond. Her simple paintings of the island and its life evoked the feel of Nantucket. On many a summer’s day she could be seen pedaling her bicycle, laden with fresh flowers and artist’s trappings, to various points all over Nantucket. Pat also wrote poetry and was an early member of the infamous Wharf Rat Club. She is an origianal descendant of Tristram Coffin, the island’s founder.

Coffin authored the 1970 book Nantucket, with photos by master documentary photographer Daviud Plowdon.

Of New York, Coffin wrote: “Behind the facade of this pushing, friendly, cruel, cultured, rich and ragged city, there is another town, a ‘small’ town. … Mine includes a grocer who delivers my order to the corner liquor store if I’m home late from the office. There is also the Italian shoemaker who chalks ‘5-A’ on the soles of my shoes without asking where I live. ‘Tomarra,’ he says.”