GOWERS, Arthur

1863 - 1903

Arthur Gowers

Arthur Gowers was born at 19 Curve Street, Ipswich on 13 September 1863, son of Stephen Gowers (1827-24 May 1893), a licensed victualler & merchant seaman, of Stowmarket and his wife Mary Ann née Green (1829-1892) of Ipswich, who married at Ipswich in 1854, Arthur was a brother to Albert Robert Gowers. As a lad, Arthur was 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 had exhibited from 2 Cardigan Street in 1882, two oils 'The Farmyard-Milking Time' and 'The Old Lock', 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' other works included in 1890 ‘A Morning in the Channel’, in 1894 ‘On the Thames-Morning’ and in 1898 ‘Mill on the Broads’. He was a regular annual exhibitor showing over sixty-five works until his move to Norwich in 1898, most of the subjects were local landscapes and marines, with his early sea training giving him a first-class knowledge of shipping which is seen to advantage in many of his marine pictures. He also exhibited at the Bury St Edmund's Fine Art Society in 1886 a large oil 'The Crab Catchers' and also exhibited at the Royal Academy. He married at Ipswich in 1889, 21-year-old Edith Barton (22 December 1867-1956), and in 1891 a ‘clothier’s assistant’, living with his wife and their 1-year-old son Percival, at 22 Navarre Street, Ipswich. In 1896 he was living at Bramford Road, Ipswich when the manager of the City Clothing Company in Tavern Street, Ipswich but by 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 Gowers, who was then manager of Norwich Cooperative Society's clothing department, died suddenly, of cerebral apoplexy and cardiac failure, on a bus in Norwich, on 8 January 1903, aged 38. Edith was now a 37-year-old widow, with seven young children to support and they moved back to a small house at 51 Belle Vue Road Ipswich, three doors from Arthur’s older brother Stephen. The children grew up to take up a range of trades and professions ranging from coach builder to farmer to bank clerk, with several children and grandchildren having artistic talents themselves including Cyril Gowers and Percival Gowers. 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)]

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 108 Wherstead Road, Ipswich
1897 349 Suffolk Heath

Works by This Artist