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Harold T. Bowler was best known for painting official portraits of prominent political, military, and theatrical figures, as well as painting murals for churches. After studying in Paris, he returned to New York to paint stage and literary personalities such as dancer Ruth St. Denis, Michael Fokine, Will Rogers, Vincent Price, and explorer/author Richard Halliburton. Bowler also went to Washington D.C. to do portraits of Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Vice President John Nance Garner, among others. During World War II, Bowler served as Director of Design for a camouflage section of the Air Force Engineers. It was during his field duty that he drew the well known sketch, After the Hike, a picture of an old, worn pair of army shoes. The image was adapted as a shoulder patch of the headquarters Company 909th Engineers, located at Mitchel Field in Hampstead, Long Island, NY and was widely exhibited and reproduced. The original was purchased by the Library of Congress. Bowler served as director of an arts program for the American Red Cross and as a USO portrait artist. In addition to producing many paintings, Bowler was an art teacher for much of his professional life.
Harold T. Bowler. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Education and Training
Syracuse University, B.F.A, Syracuse, New York, 1923-1927
Pratt Institute (Summer Session), New York, New York, 1941
Foreign Study on fellowship, three years in France, England, and Germany, 1927-1930
Connection to Bucks County
Bowler purchased an old stone farmhouse in Carversville in 1936. He presented his Last Bouquet of Autumn to the New Hope Historical Society for its permanent collection in the Parry Barn on July 15, 1965, one week before he died.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Beginning in 1940, Harold Bowler belonged to the New Hope Art Associates and the Phillips' Mill Community Association.
Harold Bowler teaching at the Art Student's League. New York, New York, 1963.
Major Group Exhibitions
Crest Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1940
Playhouse Galleries, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1940
Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York, 1942
Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective Art Exhibition, Phillips' Mill, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1979
Albany Institute of Art, Albany, New York
Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bucks County Education Traveling Collection
Delaware Bookshop Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania
Gallery 14, Palm Beach, Florida
Kennedy Gallery, New York, New York
Little Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Loretto Heights College, Denver, Colorado
Rosemont College, Pennsylvania
Everson Art Museum, Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
W. & J. Sloan Gallery, New York, New York
Town Hall Club, New York, New York
Woodmere Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
Martyrdom of St. Stephen, St. Stephen's Church in Phoenix, New York
The Sacred Heart and St. Joseph, both for Our Lady of Solace Church, Syracuse, New York
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Director of Arts and Crafts Program, American Red Cross, for U.S. Army Clubs and Hospitals, 1942-1945
Art Instructor in Portrait Sketching, USO Army/Navy Hospitals, 1945-1948
Art Instructor, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, 1953-1955
Guest Lecturer, Loretto Heights College, Denver, Colorado, 1955
Bowler lectured informally on portraiture to private audiences and conducted classes and private lessons in his own studio for twenty years with the Flemington Women's Club, Flemington, New Jersey.
Hazzard Prize, Syracuse University (for study abroad), 1927