Laura Woodward (1834-1926) was born in Mount Hope in Orange County, New York, and by the early 1870s she was a professional artist living in New York City. Woodward began to spend the winters in St. Augustine, Florida, in the 1880s and by the end of 1889 she had joined Martin Johnson Heade and the other artists at Henry M. Flagler's Ponce de Leon Hotel. By 1890 Woodward was spending time in Palm Beach and Jupiter, painting outside amid what was then largely jungle and swampland inhabited by panthers, bears, and numerous alligators. She brought her watercolor sketches of that area back to St. Augustine and told Henry Morrison Flagler that Palm Beach should be developed as a resort, using her paintings as full-color evidence of her ideas. Flagler listened to Laura, was compelled by her art, and bought property in the same locations depicted in her paintings. When Flagler was constructing his Palm Beach Hotel Royal Poinciana in 1893, he established a temporary studio for Woodward there--a permanent one was included when the hotel was completed in 1894. His newspapers continuously acknowledged Woodward as being responsible for publicizing the allure of the east coast of Florida to the entire nation. Laura Woodward became quite well-known for her delicate renderings in oil and watercolor of unspoiled nature throughout Florida--most notably the Palm Beach jungles and its flowers.