Aquarius Press/Willow Books

Two titles highlight a decades-old family saga, told from the perspective of daughter Margot McMahon, "lucky number seven" in a brood of eight children. Mac & Irene: A WWII Saga, tells the true story of Franklin "Mac" McMahon, a talented artist who served as a navigator and who survived a German prison camp to return home to his love Irene in Chicago. Franklin would go on to become a presidential artist and NASA mission illustrator.

The McMahon story continues in If Trees Could Talk, a chronicle of Franklin's later artistic career, the journalistic career of his wife Irene, and the bigger family history that begins in Ireland in the 1800s and ends with Franklin's death in the U.S. in the early 2000s.

Franklin and Irene's daughter, Margot McMahon, keeps the family stories alive in these two books. Margot is an internationally-acclaimed artist and sculptor with work exhibited at the Smithsonian and around the world in public and private collections.

Her work appears in the permanent collections of Yale University, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John D. MacArthur State Park, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The National Portrait Gallery, the Chicago History Museum, The Chicago Botanic Garden and Soka Gakkai International. Over a period of five years, McMahon explored and interpreted her Irish Catholic heritage in the creation of art for St. Patrick’s Church in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Margot earned an MFA from Yale University and taught sculpture and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University and Yale University. She lives in Chicago with her husband and visiting three grown children.


Written by Heather Buchanan-Gueringer — November 01, 2023