Constance Fowler: Tradition and Transition

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Press Release

Exhibition recalls the life and works of Salem artist Constance Fowler

Salem, Ore. – A major new exhibition features more than 50 works by Salem painter, printmaker, author, and educator, Constance Fowler (1907-1996). Organized by Professor Emeritus and Senior Faculty Curator Roger Hull, the exhibition "Constance Fowler: Tradition and Transition" explores the artist's career from the 1930s to the 1980s. The exhibition will open on May 11 and continue through July 21 in the Study Gallery and the Print Study Center at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.  

Fowler’s early paintings and engravings from the '30s and '40s embodied an expressive realism of the Oregon landscape, while her later work embraced the abstract movements that dominated American art after 1950. Throughout her career, Fowler’s life-long love of the Oregon coast provided inspiration for her work as she merged realism and abstraction.  

Hull says “Fowler’s life and work provide a window not only onto her particular career but also onto a period in American art during which assumptions about art changed radically, and established artists faced the challenge of reinventing themselves and their artwork.” Hull added, “In the course of six decades, her prints and paintings saw major transitions and transformations, yet from the beginning her art was suffused with the restlessness and animation of modern expressionism.”

Fowler played an important role at Willamette University in 1935 when she was invited by university President Bruce Baxter to formally establish the art department. She continued to teach at the university until 1947, when she took a teaching position at Albion College in Michigan, where she continued to teach until she retired and moved to Seal Rock, Oregon in 1965. 

A lecture about Constance Fowler will be presented by Roger Hull on June 9 at 2 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall and is free and open to the public. A free full-color brochure, written by Hull, will explore Fowler’s life and work and will be available at the museum.   

This exhibition was supported by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission. Additional funding for the exhibition and brochure was also provided by Constance Fowler’s friend and colleague Bennet Ludden (1914-2012).

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art
The museum is located at 700 State St. in Salem. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday. General admission is $3 and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free and admission is free to everyone on Tuesdays. For more information call 503-370-6855 or visit willamette.edu/arts/hfma.   

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High Resolution Photos for Media

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The following images posted on this page are for publicity purposes only, intended for use by journalists in media-related publications. Use of any image must be accompanied by its credit line. Use of these images by any other parties or for any other purposes, private or commercial, is strictly prohibited unless the express written consent is obtained directly from Hallie Ford Museum of Art. For information regarding educational, personal and commercial use of images, please visit our Copyrights & Reproductions page.

For assistance contact Andrea Foust 503-370-6867 or at afoust@willamette.edu.

Image

Constance Fowler, Heceta Lighthouse, c. 1938, oil on canvas, 22 in. x 18 in., collection of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, gift of Connie Battaile, BAT97.001.
To download a high resolution image: click on the image above to open the photo in a new page, then right-click and save. 

Image

Constance Fowler, Waller Hall, 1938-40 (reprinted 1969), wood engraving, 6 ½ in. x 6 in., gift of Constance Fowler, FOW92.003.
To download a high resolution image: click on the image above to open the photo in a new page, then right-click and save. 

Imae

Constance Fowler, Low Tide, c. 1975, oil on canvas, 22 ½ in. x 26 ½ in., collection of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, gift of Joey Hadfield, 2001.001.001.
To download a high resolution image: click on the image above to open the photo in a new page, then right-click and save. 

Interview Opportunity

To arrange for an interview with exhibition organizer Professor Emeritus and HFMA Senior Faculty Curator Roger Hullcontact Andrea Foust 503-370-6867 or at afoust@willamette.edu. 

  

Public Exhibition Website: 

http://www.willamette.edu/arts/hfma/exhibitions/library/2013-14/constance_fowler.html