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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

SPENCER BOWER, Rosa M. née Dixon 1865–1960

SPENCER BOWER, Rosa M. née Dixon 1865–1960

Born at “Eyrewell” West Eyreton, Canterbury, daughter of Marmaduke Dixon, a sheep farmer. Studied at Canterbury School of Art. 1901 went to Europe, studied at the Slade School of Art, London and with Signor Nardi in Rome where she developed a fresh and fluid manner of painting unlike any NZ painting. Returned to Canterbury. 1904 went to England again where she married Antony Spencer Bower, mathematician, civil engineer and inventor of “rustless iron” of gun metal. Taught probably about 1916–17 and painted famous gardens for owners. Like other painters of her time sent work back for exhibition. In 1919 came back to live in Canterbury, bringing her son and daughter (the well-known painter Olivia Spencer Bower). At times took pupils. Is best known for watercolours of English woodland scenes. Exhibited CSA 1889–1904 as Rosa Dixon, from 1909 as Rosa Spencer Bower.