Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum launches Gowen show

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 in Culture

Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum launches Gowen show

"Nine Paintings" by Elwyn George Gowen

SPRINGVALE — The Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum has opened a new exhibit of artworks by Sanford native Elwyn George Gowen (1895-1954).

Gowen, a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, received the degree of Master Craftsman in 1922 from the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts in recognition of his work in textiles, metal work, and other crafts. 

Gowen’s 1931 summer excursion to Charles H. Woodbury’s School in Ogunquit dramatically changed the course of his artistic career. Struck perhaps by the beauty of the natural landscape, or the methods and style of Woodbury, Gowen permanently left his design career to study, teach and paint from nature along the rocky coast of Maine. His exploration of color theory, design, and ways of seeing became uniquely his own. He soon became an instructor for Woodbury at his Ogunquit and Boston studios. He held teaching positions at the School of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Scott Carbee School of Art in Boston, and the Attleboro Museum of Art.

Gowen joined the faculty of Nasson College in Springvale in 1946 as artist in residence. Three years later he became professor of art and design. He died in 1955.

The exhibit in Springvale features a panel of nine of his oil paintings and dozens of other paintings. They come from the collections of Kenneth C. Turino and Christopher Mathias of Nahant, Mass., Cheryl and Paul Scott of Hillsborough, N.H., Robert Chase of York and Charles L. Nickerson of Sanford. In addition, William I. Horigan Jr. of Wells also loaned the museum eight Gowen paintings — four watercolors and four oils — from his own collection. 

The show was curated by students of the Museum Studies Graduate Program at Tufts University and was recently on view at the Aidekman Arts Center at Tufts.  

The exhibit will remain on view until July 21.

The Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum is located at 505 Main St. in Springvale and is handicapped-accessible. Hours are Thursday 2 to 8 p.m., Friday 10 to 4 and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free.

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