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Bob Fowler, 1931-2010

 

A collection of Fowler's sculptures, prints and jewelry are currently on display at the Bent Tree Gallery in Wimberley, TX.

Robert (Bob) Knight Fowler, Jr. was born on January 28th, 1931, in Houston, TX.  He died very peacefully and surrounded by love Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010, in Wimberly, Texas.  He was survived by his loving wife, Diane Hruska Fowler of Wimberley, his brother, Eugene Carey Fowler of Virginia Beach, Virginia, his daughters, Katie Kian of Houston, Valerie Fowler of Austin, Andrea Fowler of Houston, and his sons, Robert Fowler and Colin Fowler, both of Houston.

Bob was a celebrated artist and master sculptor.  He began producing art at the age of nine, when he won a scholarship to the museum of fine arts in Houston.  He attended St. Thomas High school, graduated and went on to University of Notre Dame where he received a BFA in 1954.  Shortly thereafter he married his first wife, Loretta Brown of Galveston, with whom he went on to have his five children.  He continued his education at Mexico City College on a Good Neighbor Fellowship until 1958, when he returned to Houston.

He began his artistic career, first as a faculty member of Sacred Hard Dominican College in Houston, and then at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth.  Moving to Dallas, he was lead illustrator for Chance Vought Aircraft.  From Dallas he went to Washington D.C. where he worked for Creative Arts Inc., and then for Creative Communications Inc., for whom he worked as a creative consultant on contract to the Manned Spacecraft Center.

In 1963 he began working as a full time sculptor.  In 1966 he was the first American to win the first place in the International Exhibit of Sacred Art Trieste in Italy.  His work is included in private collections world wide, and he has numerous public pieces in Europe, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.  Notably his landmark sculpture, African Elephant, 1982, greets visitors at the entrance to the Houston Zoo.  His public pieces are displayed in such diverse settings as concert halls, (Jones Hall in Houston) universities, banks, and community centers. 

Bob lives on through his art, his children and grandchildren, and all who have loved him.  Our lives are richer for the experience.

 

1940-1945
 Scholarship Award (age 9) to Museum of Fine Arts School, Houston, Texas 
1946-1950
 St. Thomas High School, Houston, Texas 
1950-1954 
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana BFA 
1956 
Good Neighbor Fellowship, Mexico City College for MFA (incomplete) 
1956-1958
 Faculty member of Sacred Heart Dominican College, Houston, Texas 
1959
 Faculty, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas 
1960-1962 
Lead illustrator, Chance Vought Aircraft, Dallas, Texas; Vice President of Creative Arts Inc., Washington D.C.; President of Creative Communications, Inc. (Creative Arts subsidiary) consultant firm on contract to the Manned Spacecraft Center during the Mercury program, Houston, Texas. 
1963 
18’ pair of horses, commissioned by Luby’s Inc. of Houston, Texas. Reinstalled in Jones Hall, Houston. 
1964
 Screen for Cameron Iron Work’s metallurgical lab, 8 tons of cut forgings (jet fans, oil tools, etc.) Houston, Texas 
1965 
One-man show, James Bute Gallery, Houston, Texas. One-man show, David Gallery, Houston, Texas. Sculpture Award, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas. 
1966 
Entrance piece for Cameron Limited, Scotland. 26’ court sculpture, University of Houston, Student Center 
1967 
First place sculpture award, second Invitational Sacred Art Exhibit, (Venice Bienelle). London Financial Times named Cameron Limited project in Scotland (containing five major pieces of the artist’s work) as one of the five best business architecture projects in the world 
1968 
18’ steel sculpture, Cameron Limited, Livingston, Scotland. Competitive Award of 9’ x 12’ sculpture, entrance of Jewish Community Center, Houston. 11’ winged figure, Hemisfair (San Antonio World’s Fair) 
1969
 Interior 13’ welded metal screen and doors (Ikonastasis) for Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church, Detroit, Mi. Two-man Monumental Show, Capital National Bank, Houston, Texas. 
1970 
11’ Free standing steel sculpture, Lincoln High School Court, given to the City of Houston by Miss Nina Cullinan. 8’ figure for Continental Oil Company 
1971 
Revision study, University of A&M in collaboration with CRS, Architects. One-man show, David Gallery, Houston 
1972
 26’ Cor-Ten and stainless sculpture commissioned for the opening ceremonies of The Woodlands, Texas. 
1973-74 
Two year contract commission, sculptures, murals, and tapestry for the home of Roy Carver, Key Biscayne, Florida, 9’ Cor-Ten gorilla sculpture for the Houston Zoo, American Institute of Architects’ Creative Collaboration Award. Invitational show, Woburn Abbey, England arranged by Grosvenor Gallery, London 1974 
Wall hanging, Zapata Oil Company, Pennzoil Building, Houston, Texas. One-man show Dubose Gallery; Houston, Texas. 26’ sculpture of Cor-Ten and stainless steel, relocated to the Office complex, The Woodlands, Texas

1975
 First one-man show David Findlay Gallery, New York, New York. One-man show Dubose Gallery, Houston, Texas
 1976 18’ welded steel sculpture, atrium, home of Mr. and Mrs. Cook Wilson, Houston, Texas. Affiliation with A.D.I. Gallery, San Francisco and Dubins Gallery, Los Angeles. One-man show, David Findlay Gallery, New York, New York 
1977
 Mural, Amarillo State Bank, Amarillo, Texas. 13’ wall hanging for Kenneth Schnitzer; Greenway Plaza, Houston, Texas. Study for four wall hangings, lobby, Mitsubishi Bank, Pan American Building, New York, New York. 
1978
 4’/6’ Wall hanging, Schlumberger Corporate collection. 2nd one-man show, David Findlay Gallery, New York, New York. 16’ brass and gold fountain for the Pasadena State Bank, Pasadena Texas.Two man show; Dubose Gallery, Houston, Texas 
1979
 12’ metal mural, Harris County Bank. Began formal studies for the Houston Zoo renovation;. 11’ kinetic fountain for Mr. and Mrs. Ed Thomas. National Archives of the Arts began microfilming studies and records. 
1980
 42” falcon for the new palace of His Highness Sheik Isa Bin Suiman Al-Khalia, Imar of Bahrain; Elephant model for Houston Zoo entrance commissioned by Robert Deshayes of Pierce, Goodwin and Alexander, Architects. Lion model for the Houston Zoo Entrance commissioned by Dr. and Mrs. Mike Jarratt. Second lion study commissioned for cat complex, Houston Zoo, CRS Architects, Houston Zoo, by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Kenyuck 
1981
 Extended time in France to solve sculpture shipping problems. Full-size African elephant sculpture, Houston Zoo entrance, 9 tons, 34’ long. 
1982
 Produced sculpture for National Methanol Company, Al Jubal, Saudi Arabia, 4’ monument. Began 5’ greater Kudu, result of years of small gallery studies, commissioned by Dr. and Mrs. Richard Ruiz 
1983
 Invitation to the Rijkscentrum of Belgium to add to the national collection of graphic art. Invitation to the Paris Salon of Nations. 
1984
 Completed 12’ semi-abstract figure for the Texas Medical Center, Houston, 5’ African gazelle, for an up-state New York residence. Extended trips to studio in Paris, France. 
1985
 Began construction of mural panels 24’ x 26’ for downtown chapel in Houston. Texas. 
1986
 Replenished gallery inventories. 
1987
 Finished AIDS mural in chapel of victims, in Magnificat House, Catholic Diocese, Houston. 6’ male figure Colombe' d’Or Hotel, Houston. “Artists and their Toys” invitational show, Nave Museum, Victoria, Texas 
1988
 Full size dinosaur (37’ Allosaurus) preliminary studies completed, financed by Mr. John Wilcox, Wimberley, Texas, and Ann Robinson, Houston. 
1989
 Built copper 9’ x 8’ fountain for home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cullen, Houston. Three weeks at the Rijkscentrum of Belgium, second invitation by the government, to add to the national collection of graphic art 
1990
 12’ gates for the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cullen, Houston.

1991
 3’ tree commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Donn Lamoureux, Wimberley, Texas; horse sculpture, commissioned by Mrs. Betty Goodwin, Perry Park, Colorado; two desk sculptures, Mr. & Mrs. Herb Fox, El Dorado, Arkansas 
1992
 5’ sculpture of wolverine for Clear Brook High School, Friendswood, Texas. 
1993
 11’ sculpture for David and Sandy Calkins, Wimberley, Texas. Rebuilt and motorized etching press heavily damaged in studio fire of 1991.
1994 Contract with Charlotte Joseph, a marketing company, to produce thirty miniature welded/cast sculptures (limited edition & reproductions) of endangered species to be sold through retail stores and worn as jewelry. 
1995
 Expanded jewelry collection with Charlotte Joseph. Jewelry chosen for fall shows at the Galveston and San Diego art museums. 4’/8’ wall piece and 6’/41” wall piece commissioned by Carl Goodwin. 
1996
 Expanded jewelry line with Charlotte Joseph. Completed first sculpture 5’ with Pitt-tech finish. Completed four multi layered painting/sculpture bas relief 
1997
 Maquette and full study for memorial horse, the Emilyann Theater, Wimberley, Texas. Affiliation with Tom Robinson Galleries, Houston. One man show, Sunset Settings, Houston, Texas. Maquette and full study for 11' piece, Cypress Creek Christian Church, Cypress Creek, Texas. Invitation to celebrate the anniversary of Centtrum voor Graflief Frans Mastereel (graphic art collection for the Belgian government). 
1998
 Two-man show, Tom Robinson Galleries, Houston, TX. Pierwalk98, Chicago, IL, International Group Show, Chicago, IL. Maquette show. Wood Street Gallery, Chicago, IL, International group show. 
1999 
Solo show Meek Gallery, Wimberley, TX. Curator “6 Sculptors 2000” show at Pascal/Robinson Galleries, Houston, in association with the International Sculpture Conference. 
2000 
Giant mosquito (14’) hung on ceiling of Houston City Hall Visitors Center, Houston, Texas, during the International Sculpture Conference (arranged by Meek Gallery). 6 Sculptors 2000 Show. Associated with new galleries: International Art Gallery, Princeton, NJ and Internarte, San Miguel, Mexico. 
2001 
42” Tree sculpture , Kevin McGuckin, Indian Creek Nursery, Bryan TX.. Kinetic Texas house model for new Denton Cooley building, Medical Center Houston, commissioned by Mr. & Mrs. Harry Cullen. 
2002 
Invitational contemporary religious art show, St Edward’s University. Austin Texas. Multiple etching subscription contracts serviced. 
2003 
Contract to rebuild historic statue St. Vincent de Paul, (vandalized), Rusk St at Brown Center in downtown Houston. Addition to outdoor collection Mr. & Mrs. Herb Fox, El Dorado, Arkansas. Emmaus Catholic Church. Fine Arts Art Show. 03’ Austin Diocese Invitational Portfolio Show 
2004 
Began studies for statues and mural of Fr. Margil, 15th century Franciscan Monk 1657-1726. historic Catholic priest statue to be complete Nov. 2007 
2005 
Joined Faculty of Austin Community College; began ‘Mixed-Media’ prints as replacement of etching subscribed prints due to government shipping curtailment of nitric acid and ‘Dutch mordant’ from suspected nerve damage. New work is personal technique which evolved from etching on silk screen prints and handmade paper (Belgium grant, 1998) and multiple computer scans. Last image accents are hand drawn. 
2006 
Named to Hall of Honor, St. Thomas High School, Houston, TX. Commissioned to do full-size statue of Fr. Margil, Patron Saint of Texas. Participant in Wimberley Valley Art League Art Tour.

2007 
Presenter to Wimberley Valley Art League, New Braunfels Art League. Started low-relief metal art gates (Valet Gates and Gate Openers). Published second book titled ‘Passing The Torch – 50 Years of Welded Sculpture Techniques.’ Installation of 10’ metal figure (‘Untitled’) to Benini Sculpture Garden, Johnson City, TX 
2008
Finished and installed Fr. Margil, full-sized statue commissioned by Rose Cullen for St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Houston, Texas, solo show, All About Image, Wimberley, Texas.
2009
Finished manuscript to submit to publisher for book requested written by Bishop John McCarthy about the art in St. Augustine Catholic Church, Houston.Texas
2010
Bob Fowler passed away November 2, 2010.

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