Eola Willis (1856-1952) was born in Dalton, Georgia, and eventually settled in Charleston, South Carolina. She studied at the Art Students League with Mrs. James David Smillie and William Merritt Chase. She also studied art in Paris. During her life, Willis became a well-known painter, craftsperson, writer and lecturer. She was a member of the Carolina Art Association and the Society for Preservation of Old Buildings. Her work is in the collection of the Gibbes Memorial Art Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina. Willis was the author of two books, "The Charleston Stage in the XVIII Century," and "Henrietta Johnson, First Woman Painter in America."