Constance Fowler: The Old Days in and near Salem, Oregon

an exhibit at the Design Library, winter term 2015


The Mansion, engraving by Constance Fowler

On exhibit during winter term in the Design Library are original wood engravings by Constance E. Fowler which were created as part of her MFA terminal project, The Old Days in and near Salem, Oregon. The project, completed in 1940, features twenty prints depicting historic sites in the Willamette Valley. Each print is accompanied by a commentary about the scene depicted. The project was published by Dogwood Press, Seattle, in 1940, and later reprinted.

Constance Edith Fowler was born June 2, 1907 in International Falls, Minnesota. She earned a BA from Washington State College (Pullman) in 1929. From 1936 to 1940 she studied at the University of Oregon with support from a Carnegie grant. Her work during the 1930s and 1940s exhibited an expressive realism as well as more abstract approaches. Her later work reflected the painterly and geometric abstract styles emerging during the 1950s.

Fowler taught at Willamette University from 1935 to 1947, and then taught at Albion College, Michigan, until 1965. She returned to Oregon upon retirement and lived at Seal Rock until 1986 when she returned to Salem. Following a stroke in 1993, Fowler spent her last years at a nursing home in Oregon City, and died on May 11, 1996, at age 88.

Above: Constance E. Fowler. The Mansion, wood engraving, 1940.


Further reading:


More information:  Ed Teague, Design Library