Harry H. Howe, American (1886 - 1966)

Harry Howe

The son of Captain T Bailey Howe, master of a Nantucket whaler and painter, Harry Howe became an oil painter of marine and landscape subjects. He was born in Boston and remained based there most of his life, although he traveled widely. He took art lessons from his father.

One of his favorite subjects was clipper ships such as his "John Bertram" and "Witchcraft", which were built respectively in Medford, Massachusetts in 1851 and Boston in 1850. This subject was popular in the East among persons who appreciated their importance to the history of that city. Among his landscape subjects were Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire, Gloucester in Massachusetts, Clearwater in Florida, and the Upper Kennebec River in Maine.

Exhibition cities included Houston, Texas in 1940 at the Rose Room of the Rice Hotel. According to The Houston Chronicle review of that show, February 4, 1940: "Harry Howe . . .would rather paint boats than anything. . . he studied in Maine and New Hampshire" . . . His landscapes are mostly of the Maine country and scenes of the Presidential Range, Mounts Monroe, Washington, Adams, Baldface and Chocorua".

In that same review, the artist was quoted as saying: "When my father taught my brother and me to paint, the darker, heavier paints were the vogue of the day. I always wanted to get into the lighter tones, and when I began to express my own ideas rather than those of my father, I developed brighter, more cheerful scenes. Today economics influences art. The modern trend of building has reduced the size of rooms, therefore, the heavy dark paintings which had to be viewed from a distance to be appreciated are becoming passe. . .Such pictures are only appropriate for museums exhibits, where there is plenty of room."

When asked for an opinion on modern art, Mr. Howe's only response was that if he "were hit real hard on the head with a hammer, he might be able to produce something in the abstract, but so long as he remained normal, he just couldn't see it."

- Source Askart - Peter Kostoulakos, AOA, NEAA

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