Stella Bowen

People of Adelaide

Stella bowen portrait agsa

Esther Gwendolyn (Stella) Bowen (1893–1947) was born in North Adelaide. She studied at the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts and was tutored by Margaret Preston.

Bowen left for England in 1914 to enrol at the Westminster School of Art, studying under Walter Sickert, and soon found herself at the centre of artistic circles that included TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, WB Yeats, and Aldous Huxley.

In 1944, she became the second woman to be appointed as an official war artist by the Australian Government depicting the activities of the RAAF in England and the return of prisoners of war from Germany. Bowen’s works are collected by the Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as national and international galleries.

In 2017 the City of Adelaide named Stella Bowen Park/Tarntanya Wama (Park 26) to honour this celebrated painter and writer. Tarntanya Wama translates to Adelaide plain/oval.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: Stella Bowen, Australia/Britain, 1893 – 1947, Self portrait, c.1929, Paris, oil on plywood; Gift of Suzanne Brookman, the artist’s niece, through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 1999, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide