Painting, Visual Artist
1887 – 1931
Who was Owen Merton?
Owen Heathcote Grierson Merton, RBA was a New Zealand-born British painter, known primarily for his watercolours, landscapes, and seascapes. His work shows the influence of the Post-Impressionist representational style.
Merton was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he studied at the Canterbury School of Art. He married Ruth Jenkins, an American, by whom he had two sons, the well-known Trappist monk Thomas Merton and John Paul Merton. He painted in England and France until 1916, when the pressures of the First World War drove him and his family to move in with his in-laws in Flushing, Long Island, where he worked briefly as a landscape gardener.
After the 1921 death of his wife, Merton lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, then in Bermuda. Throughout his career, Merton exhibited his paintings, with varying degrees of success. After returning to Europe in 1923, was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists. He continued to travel between his birthplace of New Zealand, Europe, and the USA. He died of a brain tumour in England in 1931.
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