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Elwyn George Gowen 1895-1954

"Azaleas"    c. 1930

watercolor 10  x 13 in


Elwyn Gowen graduated from the School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1918 with highest honors.  He was awarded the Ripley Scholarship, the Thayer Prize and two consecutive years of the Cummings Traveling Scholarship in Europe.  Further studies were completed at the New York School of Interior Decoration.  He served as personal assistant to analytical color and research designer Dr. Denman W. Ross of Harvard University and collaborated with Jay Hanbridge in developing the principals of  Dynamic Symmetry.

Mr. Gowen was engaged by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to measure and analyze the antiques in the Department of Classical Art.  When the new wing to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts was completed in the mid-20's Elwyn was appointed to supervise the entire interior decoration.  The Degree of Master Craftsman was conferred on him by the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts in recognition of his work in the design of textiles, metal work and other crafts. He Served as a member of the council, jury member, critic, and chairman of the Craftsman Advisory Board.  Gowen's work in fabrics and metals were distributed throughout the country and examples of his work could be seen in the restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia.

In 1932 Mr. Gowen participated in outside painting classes with Charles H. Woodbury in Ogunquit, Maine and following the course was invited to serve as an instructor and associate to Mr. Woodbury at the Ogunquit and Boston studios.  He also held teaching positions at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Scott Carbee School of Art, The Attleboro Museum of Art, and conducted private classes in Milton and Wellesley, Massachusetts, and also in Portland, Sanford, Ogunquit, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport, Maine.  He concluded his career as Artist in Residence at Nasson College in Springvale, Maine.  Elwyn belonged to the Boston Society of Independent Artists and was a "First Member" of The Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, Maine and also exhibited his paintings in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Elwyn Gowen's training in the late teens and early twenties provided him with a firm foundation in the science of color, and deeply rooted him in design and composition.  Under Mr. Woodbury's tutelage his woks came alive with spontaneity.  His color palette is so unique that it inspires retina retention and his oil paintings and watercolors become instantly recognizable when viewed.  Careful study of his masterful brush strokes reveal a unity of form and color with sweeping rhythmic symmetry.  Gowen was most prolific during the 1930's with the majority of his works found in the family attic bearing those dates.


 Blue Hill Bay Gallery   11 Tenney Hill, Blue Hill, Maine 04614