Born in Bombay, Winifred McKenzie grew up in Scotland and studied at Glasgow School of Art, then at the Grosvenor School of Art in London. In London during the 1930s, she was elected a member of the National Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers and was also a member of the Society of Wood Engravers. The family moved to St Andrews in 1940 where she set up art classes for Polish servicemen. After the war Winifred was appointed to Dundee College of Art as a lecturer in composition, life drawing, and wood engraving. There she was regarded as an innovator as wood engraving had never been taught before in Dundee. She continued to paint for most of her life.
This picture was bequeathed to the Art Collection by Aylwin Clark along with another two by Winifred McKenzie, and two more by her sister Alison. Aylwin wrote a biography of the McKenzie sisters, with a foreword by David McClure, which provides a fascinating account of their joint lives. Their father George, who trained at Glasgow School of Art in the 1880s, was a contemporary and friend of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.