Edmund Bruce Stowe, oil on Masonite, 18 by 36 inches. Signed lower right, E. B. Stowe, 64.

Edmund B. Stowe was known as the “Sanford Artist,” famous for his rendering of Florida palms and the wilderness along the St. Johns River. When he died in 1995, at the age of 100, Dave Farr, director of the Sanford Chamber of Commerce said of Stowe, “He was kind of like the pride of the cultural community in Seminole County.”

Edmund Bruce Stowe, oil on canvas 25 1/2 by 24 inches. Signed and dated lower left, E.B. Stowe, 1990.

Born in Mount Dora, Stowe moved with his family to Sanford in 1915 where he worked with his father as a celery grower and foliage farmer. After service as a doughboy in World War I Stowe built a home on the banks of the St. Johns River where he continued to farm and active in the Florida Audubon Society, serving as secretary-treasurer for two years. He began painting in 1910 but did not begin to paint seriously until his retirement in 1956. In the early 1960’s Stowe began taking lessons from Orlando artist Ralph Bagley. At an Artists’ League of Orange County Spring exhibit in March 1962, Stowe won an honorable mention in the amateur class. A year later Stowe had what was probably his first one man exhibit in the lobby of the Orlando Cinema of “original oil paintings mostly of Florida scenes.

Edmund Bruce Stowe, oil on Masonite, 15 by 18 inches. Signed lower left and dated, 60.

Stowe taught art at his home on the St. Johns River for more than forty years; completed more than 5,000 paintings, including 1,700 landscapes, some commissioned by the owners of Holiday Inns in Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach to hang in motel rooms. Stowe’s work was hung in the city halls of Sanford and Seminole and the Sanford Chamber of Commerce. In 1992, while living in a nursing home, one of his oil paintings of palms along the St. Johns River was exhibited in the U. S. Capitol in an exhibit honoring senior citizens.

Edmund Bruce Stowe, oil on Masonite, 16 by 36 inches. Signed lower right and dated, 62.

The Orlando Sentinel (February 7, 1980) visited Stowe’s home. “The small studio, overlooking the river, is decorated with splashes and dribbles of paint, four easels and lots of paint brushes and rags. The studio is empty now. But Stowe talks about perspectives and contrasts, shadows, and tone, as if the room were filled with the students who come to his home four days a week. ‘I tell my students they must have enthusiasm. If they really want to paint, they must pitch in and paint. I tell them to make mistakes and correct them instead of dodging them. He grins. Not a bad philosophy of life.”

Born: 1895, Mount Dora. Died: February 22, 1995. Education: with Ralph Bagley, Robert Camp, Robert Chase, Laura Locke, Elliott McMurrough, Newton Merrill. Membership: Florida Federation of Art; Sanford Art Club: Orlando Art Association; Florida Audubon Society. Exhibits: Florida Federation of Art 12th Annual, Society of The Four Arts, Palm Beach, December 1938, Big Oak and 1st honorable mention, non-professional, marine, Veteran Pine; Sanford Art Club, February 1962, blue ribbon for an oil, Bamboo; Artists’ League of Orange County, honorable mention, amateur; Orlando Cinema, September 1963, one man exhibit of Florida oil paintings; Bunch’s Gallery, North Orange Ave., August, 1966, one man exhibit.

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