Arthur Rodman Bowker

Arthur Rodman Bowker

Arthur Rodman Bowker (1881-1971) emerged as a prominent American artist and illustrator, born in Mount Holly, New Jersey. His artistic journey commenced after completing the eleventh grade in 1898 when he enrolled at the School of Industrial Arts in Philadelphia. Under the guidance of instructors like Sophie Bertha Steel and Alexander Stirling Calder, Bowker honed his skills in illustration and figure modeling.

In 1902, Bowker’s artistic prowess gained recognition when he was awarded a $50 Prize for Outstanding Illustration Art at his graduation ceremony. Post-training, he established a studio at his family home, advertising his services. Simultaneously, his younger brother, James Bowker, pursued a career as a professional draftsman.

Venturing to Philadelphia in 1906, Bowker opened his first professional art studio at 904 Pine Street. The subsequent years saw him navigating the dynamic field of magazine illustration.

Bowker’s career reached new heights in the following years. He contributed pen-and-ink interior story illustrations to Adventure Magazine in 1913 and Smith’s Magazine in 1915. This led to a staff artist position at Street & Smith Publications, prompting a move to New York City, where he rented an apartment in Greenwich Village.

In 1926, Bowker became the primary illustrator for Black Mask Magazine, a pivotal role that significantly contributed to the magazine’s success. His illustrations graced the pages of The Secret 6 in 1934-1935, and he ventured into children’s literature in 1935 with “David and Mary Alice Go To Washington.”

His artistic legacy endured, marking a prolific career that spanned decades and left an indelible mark on the world of illustration and popular publications. Arthur Rodman Bowker passed away at the age of eighty-nine on March 20, 1971, leaving behind a lasting impact on the artistic landscape.

Books By Arthur Rodman Bowker