Judith Lowry (artist)

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Judith Lowry
Washington, D.C., United States
NationalityNative American
EducationHumboldt State University
Alma materChico State University

Judith Lowry (born 1948 in Washington, D.C.) is a Native American artist. She works predominantly in acrylics on canvas.[1]


Her father is Leonard Lowry, a descendant of the Maidu and Pit River tribes.[2] She has stated, "My paternal family heritage is Mountain Maidu with blood ties to the Paiute, Washo, Modoc, Pit River tribes."[3] Her mother, June Shirley Harrison, is Australian. Her parents met during World War II when her father was stationed in her mother's native Sydney, Australia. He was one of the most decorated Native American soldiers.[4] Judith had one brother; they were raised in Germany, Japan, Australia, as well as the US.

Initially Judith didn't attend college; she got married, raised children, and worked as a hairdresser. She also took photographs at weddings and community events. She settled in her father's hometown of Susanville, California. Eventually, in her thirties Judith did go back to school, and attended Humboldt State University.[2]

Art career[edit]

Lowry won her first competition at the age of six for a drawing of a Hieronymus Bosch-ish World with strange vibrant creatures.

Lowry has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Humboldt State University and a Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from Chico State University.[5] Lowry's work is influenced by Frank Day, Harry Fonseca, Fra Angelico, Giotto, and Sandro Botticelli.[4] Her works frequently reference themes including consumerism, fashion, relationships, death, and the representation of Native American people in contemporary culture.[6] Her work is influenced by early Renaissance painting and the tradition of native California story-telling. Lowry frequently works in oil and acrylics creating "larger-than-life" images that favour "allegorical sensibilit[ies]."[7]

“There is one distinction I have to make. I am not a painter.
I paint. I am a storyteller.”[7]

Lowry's studio is in Nevada City, California.[8] Her work has been exhibited at the Crocker Art Museum, the Wheelwright Museum, the Carl M. Gorman Museum, the Heard Museum, and the George Gustav Heye Center.[5] In 2012, she showed at the Pence Gallery.[9] Her work is in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian and Peabody Essex Museum.[10][11]


  1. ^ https://s3.amazonaws.com/PEM_artscape/pdf/judith_lowry_reference-03.pdf
  2. ^ a b Native Arts | Judith Lowry Southwest Art Magazine | Southwest Art Magazine
  3. ^ Let us not forget the Nisenan people, Judith Lowry, 2012
  4. ^ a b "Full Disclosure: Autobiographical paintings continue a storytelling tradition". PEM Connections. November–December 2008.
  5. ^ a b Evans, Lara. "Judith Lowry". Institute of America Indian Art.
  6. ^ Lowry, Judith; Lippard, Lucy R.; Harlan, Theresa (1999). Illuminations: Paintings by Judith Lowry. Santa Fe: Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. p. 9.
  7. ^ a b "Judith Lowry". Images of Identity. University Library Gallery, at CSU Sacramento. 2004.
  8. ^ Nevada City artist
  9. ^ Victoria Dalkey: Judith Lowry's show at Pence Gallery depicts aspects of Native California - Theater - The Sacramento Bee Archived 2014-03-23 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Collections Search". National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  11. ^ "My Aunt Viola". Native American Art. Peabody Essex Museum. Retrieved 28 June 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bigfeather, Joanna (2004). Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture. Ann Arbor: Arttrain USA. OCLC 54969559.
  • Lowry, Judith; Lippard, Lucy R.; Harlan, Theresa (1999). Illuminations: Paintings by Judith Lowry. Santa Fe: Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.
  • Ortel, Jo (Spring 2005). "Exhibition Review of Continuum: 12 Artists at the George Gustav Heye Center, Part 2". American Indian Art Magazine. 30 (2): 63–64.
  • Russell, Karen K. (2011). Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. New Haven: Yale University Press.