GOWERS, Arthur

1863 - 1903

Arthur Gowers

Born at 19 Curve Street, Ipswich on 13 September 1863, son of Stephen Gowers (1827-1893), licensed victualler & merchant seaman, of Stowmarket and his wife Mary Ann née Green (1829-1893) of Ipswich, who married at Ipswich in 1854, a brother to Albert Robert [q.v.] As a lad apprenticed to the sea, afterwards adopted a business career, and although entirely self-taught finally made painting his profession. In 1881 the family were living at the Crown Tavern, 2 Fitzroy Street, Ipswich but the following year Arthur was of 2 Cardigan Street, Ipswich. A landscape painter in oil and a member of Ipswich Fine Art Club 1885-1901 but exhibited from 2 Cardigan Street in 1882 two oils 'The Farmyard-Milking Time' and 'The Old Lock' and in 1883 three oils 'Corner of Fore Street, St Clement's', 'Brighton Fishing Boats' and 'Sproughton Hall', in 1884 three oils 'Bawdsey Ferry', 'Mid-day, Autumn' and 'After a Gale'. In 1885 he exhibited from 11 Chenery Street, Ipswich two oils 'When Nature Scarcely Breathes' and 'Herring Boats making for Home'. He was a regular exhibitor showing over sixty-five works 1883-1898 most of the subjects were local landscapes and marines including ‘A Morning in the Channel’ (1890), ‘On the Thames-Morning’ (1894) and ‘Mill on the Broads’ (1898). His early sea training gave him a first class knowledge of shipping which is seen to advantage in many of his marine pictures. In 1897 he exhibits ‘A Suffolk Heath’ at the Royal Academy and continued to exhibit at Ipswich until his move to Norwich in 1898. He married at Ipswich in 1889, 21 year old Edith Barton and in 1891 a ‘clothier’s assistant’ living with his wife and their 1 year old son Percival at 22 Navarre Street, Ipswich. In 1901 a ‘clothier’s manager’ living at 22 College Road, Norwich with Edith and a further five children. He had a further daughter before his death. Arthur died suddenly, of cerebral apoplexy and cardiac failure, on a bus in Norwich, on 8 January 1903, aged 38. Some of his best paintings are in private ownership in and around Norwich. Edith was a 37 year widow with seven young children to support and they moved back to a small house in Belle Vue Road Ipswich, a few doors from Arthur’s older brother Stephen. The children grew up to take up a range of trades and professions ranging from coachbuilder to farmer to bank clerk with several children and grandchildren having artistic talents themselves including Cyril [q.v.] and Percival [q.v.]. Edith continued to live in same house in Belle Vue Road for a further fifty years until her death in 1956. [Doreen Shepherd. Arthur Gowers – A Suffolk Artist (2005)]




Works by This Painter