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Robert Emmett Owen (1878-1957)

Robert Emmett Owen (1878-1957)
old apple tree in blossom Robert Emmett Owen (1878 - 1957)

During the mid-eighties I traded one of my own paintings with Rob Visser, a friend who had lived in the US, where he had acquired this oil painting by Robert Emmett Owen (1878 - 1957).

Now that my family and I live on Penttilä in the Finnish lake district, I find myself living in this painting - even though the subject of Emmett Owen's painting is in New England.

Robert Owen studied at the Drury Academy in North Adams and the Eric Pape School of Art in Boston. At a very early age he had several drawings accepted by "Life Magazine"., The Boston Globe, Christian Endeavor, and other publications. In his earliest paintings, Owen combined sharply outlined architectural structures with sketchy impressionistic figures, as Claude Monet rendered them in Boulevard des Capucines (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri). In 1900, Owen went to New York City, where he earned his living as an illustrator for Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Life, and
Women's Home Companion. He married Miriam Rogg in 1903. They moved to Bagnall, Connecticut in 1910. He studied for a while with tonalist Leonard Ochtman, assisted in the formation of the Greenwich Society of Artists in 1912 and became a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1915.

In 1923 he opened his first gallery in New York City and it had three different locations over the years. Later he moved into the Rembrandt Building, adjacent to Carnegie Hall. He exhibited his works at the National Academy of Design (1912 and 1914) and at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in Hartford. In 1936, eighty-six of his paintings were shown at the Dwight Art Memorial, Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Massachusetts Anxious to get out in the field to paint again, Owen closed his last
gallery in 1941 and moved to New Rochelle, New York to work as artist-in-residence at the Thomas Paine Memorial Museum.

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