artist information

John P. "Jack" Cowan
Born in Bristol, Tennessee in 1920, Cowan studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where Norman Rockwell was one of his instructors.

Cowan's favorite subjects as well as his favorite sports are quail hunting and fishing for redfish. All classic Cowan scenes are instantly recognizable as "real" by sportmen who have waded the flats and hunted the brush.

His paintings have appeared as cover art and illustrations in such magazines as Fortune, Life, Look, Esquire, Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, and other national publications.

John was selected as one of the top 12 contemporary outdoor artists in America in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Sports Afield magazine. His impressive portfolio of over 80 limited edition prints contains some of the most collectible prints ever published.

In 2009 the Art Center held a tribute exhibition to Cowan, incorporating original paintings, reproductions, and works from fellow artists Al Barnes, Herb Booth, John Dearman, Steve Russell, and Kyle Polzin. All of the artists cited Cowan as a major influence in their work, and many of them knew Cowan personally.

Cowan spent a lot of time on the Texas Coast, in particular, Rockport, which led him to strike a relationship with the Bass Family and begin the Coastal Conservation Assocation. Read more about Cowan in our News & Press Releases.

The photo below depicts Kent Ullberg, Herb Booth, John P. Cowan and Al Barnes on a fishing excursion. It was taken by Kent Ullberg's wife Veerle, who titled the painting "How does he do that?" (Check out Mr. Cowan's feet, and no, Photoshop wasn't even invented yet!)


(From left) Kent Ullberg, Herb Booth, John P. Cowan, and Al Barnes