Arthur Kowalski

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Arthur Kowalski (American, 1893-1958) was an artist, painter, muralist, interior decorator, vocalist and teacher, primarily known for his landscapes, coastal views and gardenscapes. Arthur was the son of Leo Kowalski and Emma Juergens, and younger brother to the artist-illustrator-muralist Edgar Kowalski (American, 1891-1968). He taught art classes in Buffalo, the Boston hills, Boston, NY and along the Canadian shore. He often attended the Saturday Sketch Club at a cabin in Springbrook, NY, with his brother and fellow artists Charles E. Burchfield (American, 1893-1967), William J. Schwanekamp (American, 1893-1970) and Julius J. Lankes (American, 1884-1960) among others. The cabin was used by Buffalo art students who specialized in outdoor oil painting.

Kowalski studied art at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy from 1913-16 in Buffalo, NY and the prestigious Cooper Union School of Art in Manhattan, NYC. He also studied painting with Bolton Coit Brown (American, 1864-1936) and John William Bentley (American, 1880-1951) at the Woodstock Art Colony in Woodstock, NY, and also with the well known Roycroft painters Alexis Jean Fournier (American, 1865-1948) and Sandor Leopold Landeau (Hungarian-American, 1864-1924) in East Aurora, NY. He later furthered his studies at the Art Students League in NYC. He studied vocally under the vocalist and musician Miss Elizabeth B. Raymond in Buffalo, NY, and under the baritone singing teacher and Hollywood vocal coach Lazar S. Samoiloff (Russian-American, 1877-1945) in NYC. His paintings also adroned the covers and interiors of various magazines such as the Buffalo Saturday Night and Heacock's magazine.


1893- Born, son of Leo Kowalski and Emma Juergens, Cincinnati, OH.

1901- Family moved to Buffalo, NY.

1913-1916- Studied art at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, NY.

1913- Exhibited, groups show, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

c1913- Opened a greenhouse at Pine Hill Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.

From 1914-late 1920’s- He went into business with Sebastianina "Bessie" Bellanca who owned the Colonial Flower Shop located at 219 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, and the delivery car featured Kowalski's own hand lettering and decorations. Inside the store, Kowalski also established the Musical Arts Office to promote and sell tickets for major musical events at regional venues like the Elmwood Music Hall and the Shubert-Teck Theatre.

c1916- Furthered his studies at the Cooper Union in Manhattan, under the well known muralist William de Leftwich Dodge (who later painted six murals inside Buffalo City Hall), NYC.

1916- Married vocalist and musician Aida Guarnieri (American, 1897-), Buffalo, NY. Soon after their marriage, Aida joined Arthur and Bessie at the flower shop, creating Beautiful arrangements.

1918- September, 16, their first daughter Celeste Aida was born, Buffalo, NY.

1920- November, exhibited, solo show, 37 paintings shown, Albright Art Gallery, with sixteen paintings that sold from the show, Buffalo, NY.

1921- Studied painting with Bolton Coit Brown (American, 1864-1936) and John William Bentley (American, 1880-1951) at the Woodstock Art Colony in Woodstock, NY.

1923- February, furthered his studies at the Art Students League in NYC, to study alongside the leading impressionist Gustav William von Schlegell (German, 1884-1950).

1925- Designed & painted three large decorative murals for the restaurant Paolini's in downtown Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, Arts club of Buffalo, Thirty-four artists exhibited and Arthur showed nine paintings, Ballroom of the Hotel Statler, Buffalo, NY.

c1927- Founded an Italian restaurant called Casa Lorenzo, on Pearl Street (behind Shea’s Performing Arts Center) with fellow Arts Club of Buffalo member Lorenzo Pace, which featured murals of romantic Italian scenes by his brother Edgar and the restaurant billed itself as "The Rendezvous of Artists". Arthur eventually sold his interest to Pace, Buffalo, NY.

1929- Their second daughter Sonya was born, Buffalo, NY.

c1932-33- The Kowalski's traveled to Europe for an eight-month sojourn, which provided not only new subject matter for his paintings, but new and unique items for his design and interior decorating business where Arthur designed and built furniture for his clients and himself, located at 224 Summer Street. He and Aida brought back 40 cases of antiques and many objet d'art for his studio and decorating business.

1933- Exhibited, sold show, Carl Bredemeiers Gallery, featuring many works from his European trip from works produced in Italy, Switzerland, Germany & France, Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY.

c1935- Arthur started a new venture with his old freind Lorenzo Pace, a restaurant called King Arthur's Restaurant, 199 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY.

1942- December, Arthur opened his own art gallery, which offered everything from European Old Master paintings to work from contemporary American artists like noted American impressionist Aldro Thompson Hibbard (1886-1972), who also exhibited there in 1943, 44 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY.

1956- Summer, produced the first "Art in the Courtyard" outdoor arts festival exhibition on the patio of his Summer Street studio, Buffalo, NY.

1957- Summer, exhibited, group show, 2nd annual "Art in the Courtyard" outdoor arts festival exhibition on the patio of his Summer Street studio, Buffalo, NY.

1958- Summer, exhibited, group show, 3rd annual "Art in the Courtyard" outdoor arts festival exhibition on the patio of his Summer Street studio, Buffalo, NY. A few months later Arthur died at the age of 65, Buffalo, NY.

1983- His wife Aida died, Buffalo, NY.

1989- Retrospective exhibit, October 26, “Arthur & Edgar Kowalski Artists Extraordinaire 1920-1950”, Colony Hall, Amherst Museum Colony Park, Amherst, NY.

2010- Both daughters, Celeste Aida (Serio) and Sonya died, Buffalo, NY.

Exhibited also at: Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Arts Club of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; Independent Artists’ Salon, NYC; Several exhibitions at the Albright Art Gallery and the Buffalo Museum of Science under the auspices of the National Art Week, an offshoot of the WPA that operated under the motto "American Art for Every American Home".

Memberships: The Arts Club of Buffalo (president circa early-mid 1920's, also secretary [1918]), Buffalo, NY; East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club (c.1904-c.1935), East Aurora, NY; Independent Artists, NYC; Allied Arts Guild and the Buffalo Society of Artists (1952-53), Buffalo, NY; The Saturday Sketch Club, Springbrook, NY.

Publications: The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey Of Painting In Buffalo, by Susan Krane 1987; The Buffalo Artists Register, Vol. 1, pg. 342, 1926; Davenport's Art Reference: The Gold Edition, by Ray Davenport, 2005; The Artists Bluebook, 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005, by Inc., Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Editor); Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, 3 Volumes, by Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), 1999.

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(Rewritten & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY,, sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)