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Original works of art

Jean Bowman
(American, 1917 -1994 )

Bowman was born and raised just outside New York City, the daughter of the architect Lewis Bowman. She loved to draw as a child, and when she met the British artist. R. L. Lucas, he took her under his wing as her teacher. After graduating from Spence, she enrolled in New York's Grand Central Art School in New York City, where she studied portraiture. She soon came to specialize in equine portraiture, and had her first one person show at Boston's Vose Gallery in 1940.

While in Boston, she hunted with the Myopia Hunt, on Boston's North Shore, and from this point on, more than 90% of her work was commissioned, and mostly of horses. In 1944 she moved to Middleburg, Virginia, which was to become her home, eventually marrying Alexander Mackay-Smith, at that time the Master of the Blue Ridge Hunt. Her clients included Paul Mellon and many other prominent horsemen. Bowman received her first British commission in 1958, eventually completing commissions in England, Ireland and of course in America. In 1968 she painted the Royal Family's "Hopeful Venture", winner of the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud.

In 1980, she and fellow equine artist, Else Tuckerman, founded the American Academy of Equine Art, the aim of which was to establish excellence in the field. The academy was initially formed with 10 artists, with Bowman as its first president. It now has a permanent home at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.


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