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 Thomas (William Thomas) Rowe  (1923 - 2004)



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Lived/Active: Maryland      Known for: architecture, landscape, still life

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
"Vale" , 48" x 24", oil on panel
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist, submitted by Mary Jane Rowe, daughter of the artist.

William Thomas Rowe, 81, of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, died on Friday, November 19, 2004 at the home of his daughter, Mary Jane Rowe.  Born February 15, 1923, Tom Rowe was the son of the late John Isaac Rowe and Harriett Barker Rowe of Catonsville, Md.  He was the loving husband of the late Mary Ann Kerr Rowe, who died in January 2004.  Mr. and Mrs. Rowe were married on July 28, 1945 after Mr. Rowe returned from combat as a Marine in the Pacific Theatre in World War II.  Mr. Rowe was the very beloved father of Suzanne Rowe Wilson of Providence, RI; Mary Jane Rowe of Drayden, MD; and Nancie Lee Lumpkins of Piney Point, MD; and the father-in-law of Joseph Anderson and Robert M. Lumpkins, as well as the “adopted” father of Michael Loughran and his wife, Jane Loughran.  Mr. Rowe was the devoted grandfather, known as “Oley,” of Elaine Herrmann Blais and her husband, Mark Blais; Jamie Herrmann; Thomas Davin- Rowe Grout; Celia Leigh Wilson; Sarah Anderson; Ryan Hamilton Lumpkins; Robert “Lance” Lumpkins; and the “adopted” grandfather of Conor Loughran and Shaun Loughran. Mr. Rowe was the great-grandfather of Jack Henry Blais.

Tom Rowe grew up in Catonsville, Maryland in a home beautifully landscaped by his parents, who were ardent gardeners.  He was the youngest of four boys, all deceased: Robert Rowe, John Barker Rowe, and James Harrison Rowe.  Mr. Rowe attended the Franklin Day School in Baltimore City and was active on all of their sports teams.  He met his future wife, who was babysitting next door, when they were both 14 years old, but did not begin dating until shortly before he signed up as a Marine in WWII.

Mr. Rowe fought in the battle of Guam, and upon discharge, when the war ended, married Mrs. Rowe.  Mr. Rowe returned to school in his early 30’s, earning both his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore in three years, while continuing to work full-time at night.  Mrs. Rowe generously supported his career while raising their three girls.  Mr. Rowe was a student of Ann Schuler and Jacques Maroger, learning and carrying on the tradition of the Maroger medium and a realistic painting style.

Mr. Rowe was a founder and original member of the Six Realists Gallery in Baltimore, which two thousand people attended on its opening night in 1961. Mr. Rowe was in national exhibitions at the Audubon Artists Annual in New York; Provincetown Arts Festival in Rhode Island; DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA; the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Mid-Year Exhibitions, Butler Museum of American Art in Ohio; the Peale Museum, Washington; Corcoran Area Art Exhibition, and Friends of the Corcoran Invitationals, Washington. Prizes were awarded at the 25th Annual Butler Institute, the Lay Martin Prize, Maryland Artists Regional, Baltimore Museum, and Best in Show Awards in two Loyola College Annuals. He received a fellowship to the Ossabaw Island Foundation, Savannah, Ga. 

Works in collections include: the Maryland Artist Collection, University of Maryland; the University of Michigan Fine Arts Collection; the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis; the Edward Hoffmann Collection, Baltimore; and Morgan State College, Baltimore.

The Rowe family moved to St. Mary’s County from Catonsville in 1968 after Mr. Rowe established himself as a teacher of fine arts at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  Mr. Rowe developed the art department at St. Mary’s College and was an associate Professor of Art until his retirement.  He is known as the “father of men’s lacrosse” at St. Mary’s College.

Prior to his illness, he taught drawing and painting to private students in his studio in St. Mary’s City. Mr. Rowe combined his talent as an artist and a teacher with a life-long love of music and an exceedingly fine wit.  His art classes were marked by music, laughter, his generous appreciation of his students’ abilities to create and a non-judgmental ability to provide effective critiques of their work.  Mr. Rowe was an inspirational and loving mentor to his daughter, Jane, and his grandson, Jamie, who are both artists. Mr. Rowe had many art shows during his years in St. Mary’s County.

His last art show, a retrospective of his work, was held at the North End Gallery in Leonardtown on 9/14/01, following the 9/11 tragedy.  This was a poignant time for family and friends to gather to celebrate a truly unique and talented man in a unique and tragic time for the whole country.  People traveled from far and wide despite the shutdown of airports in order to be present to celebrate the wonderful personal and professional life of a great man.  Despite the many strokes which robbed him of the ability to create art and to speak clearly, Tom Rowe remained a charismatic person, often using only the love and humor in his soft blue eyes and face to communicate.  His was a personality and a talent for art and life that touched an incredible number of lives. He was the kind of person you never forgot. Such larger than life human beings are rare and are the stuff of legends, of which there were many in his lifetime among his many acquaintances and which will only increase with the passing of his beautiful life. The spirit of Tom Rowe will never die.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted February 2005, is from Mary Rowe, representative of the artist.

Working mainly in oil using Maroger medium, Thomas Rowe makes paintings that, while representational in style, transcend realism in his use of content and style.

Rowe received both the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the Maryland Institute College of Art where he studied with Jacques Maroger and Ann Schuler. He was one of the original founding members of the 6 Realists of Baltimore (Rowe, Sheppard, Hofmann, Redelius, Keehn, and Bannon.)

He was an associate professor of art at St. Mary's College of Maryland and a charter member of the North End Gallery in Leonardtown, Maryland.

Maryland Artist Collection, University of Maryland College University (Baltimore MD); Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (Hagerstown, Maryland); University of Michigan Fine Arts Collection; U. S. Naval Academy (Annapolis MD); St. Mary's College of Maryland (Maryland) Morgan State University (Maryland);

Rowe was awarded prizes at the 25th Annual, Butler Institute; the Lay Martin Prize, Maryland Artists Regional (Baltimore Museum); and Best in Show Awards in two Loyola College Annuals. He received a fellowship to the Ossabaw Island Foundation, Savannah, Georgia.

He has exhibited nationally at the Audubon Artists Annual, New York; Provincetown Arts Festival; DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; and the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Mid-Year Exhibitions, Butler Institute of American Art. In the Washington-Baltimore area, he has exhibited at the Peale Museum, the Corcoran Area Art Exhibition, and the Friends of the Corcoran Invitationals.

6 Realists of Baltimore

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