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Reginald M. Rowe ’44

Published in Oct. 10, 2007, issue

"For me, art is a compulsion. I have to do it; I don't know what else to do," Reggie said. And art is what Reggie "did" — and taught. He died June 15, 2007, after a vast search found him where he'd fallen during a walk with his dog, Sam, in rough country outside San Antonio.

Reggie was longtime chairman of the faculty at the San Antonio Art Institute and revered as a pioneer abstract expressionist. He prepped at Choate. His father was Princeton 1910.

Reg was on our 150-pound football squad and secretary-treasurer of Colonial Club. Close friends included Doug Dimond, Monty Geer, Hal Haskell, Bob Kean, and Harcourt Waller.

He earned his bachelor's in languages in 1943, before serving three years with the Navy in the Pacific. Starting a bank career in Manhattan, he also studied at the Art Students' League. He then switched, first to portrait painting in 1950, before finding his long-term niche in abstract painting.

In the 1940s and 1950s, while Reggie and his first wife, Peggy Steinhart, were in Cuba, Ernest Hemingway befriended him and encouraged his painting. He later earned a master's in art in Mexico.

Survivors include Reggie's wife of 37 years, artist Jan Tips Rowe, and his daughters, Michele Rowe-Shields and Betsy Beckmann. Our sincere condolences go to his family, fellow artists, and his many students.

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