Born January 1, 1903, Syracuse, New York
Died July 22, 1965, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Harold T. Bowler was best known for painting official portraits of prominent political, military, and theatrical figures, as well as 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 WWII, 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.
Image: Harold T. Bowler, Courtesy of James A. Michener Art Museum archives