Biography from Allison Gunderson, daughter of the artist

Born in Kalispell, Montana, Nancy McLaughlin became noted for her depictions of Indian faces from babies to men and in her later years, the portrayal of Indian legends. Her passion in her later years was portraying Indian legends. She worked mostly with pencil and pastels in the early days but moved on to watercolor, oil, and sculpture. During her career, McLaughlin lived in Washington, Arizona, and Texas.

She drew mostly horses and animals during her early age. She graduated from Flathead High School, which has several works by her in their library. She attended the University of Montana to get a teaching degree and study art. There she met Ace Powell, twenty years older than she. They married and started a family in Hungry Horse, Montana.

In 1964, the house and studio and art gallery in Hungry Horse burned to the ground. The cause was never determined for sure, but their personal and private art collection and Indian artifacts were all destroyed. The pressure of this calamity was too much and the couple divorced, leaving four children, David, Christa, Allison, and Ann, all who have remained in the northwest.

McLaughlin had had a life-long struggle with asthma and respiratory illnesses, and this was the cause of her death, which occurred in Newport, Washington.