Robert Emmett Owen (1878-1957)

Robert Emmett Owen (1878-1957)

By the time Robert Emmett Owen came to Boston in 1898, he was already an accomplished artist contributing pen and ink drawings to Life Magazine. Owen enrolled in the Eric Pape School of Art in that same year and after three years of study in Boston he moved to New York City, where he worked as an illustrator for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s and Scribner’s. In New York, he continued his training at the Art Students League, the Chase School and the National Academy of Design, and also studied with impressionist painters Frederick Mulhaupt and Leonard Ochtman.  By 1910, Owen had left New York and moved to Bagnall, Connecticut to paint from nature.  In 1915, he exhibited with and was elected a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.

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Owen traveled throughout New England painting and sketching in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and in small towns in Western Connecticut. His paintings of winding country roads, covered bridges and old farmhouses reflect his particular affinity for the rural New England landscape. Owen’s mastery of color enabled him to convey the mood or time of day of any season, from the bright green pastures of spring to the long, purple shadows of a wintry afternoon.

Owen returned to New York in 1920 and soon after opened his own one-man gallery, successfully promoting his own work for almost twenty years. He continued to travel through the hills and countryside of New England for subject matter and counted several prominent New York families and businessmen among his collectors.  His fine landscapes were exhibited by Vose Galleries during the 1980s when the gallery represented over two-hundred paintings from the artist’s estate.

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, 1999.

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