Geoffrey Bowman Biography

Geoffrey Bowman




Geoffrey Bowman was born in San Francisco on December 29, 1928. In 1946, he quit high school and joined the Navy and traveled to China, Korea, the Philippines, and Hawaii.

In 1948 after being discharged from the Navy, Bowman earned his high school equivalency diploma. Five years later he met and married his first wife Mill, and graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Social Science. During this time he also became intensely interested in art and printmaking and began to study art formally. By 1957 Geoffrey had earned his graduate degree in art and began to teach art in San Quentin.

In 1960 Bowman left his teaching job at San Quentin to spend more time working on his art and examining Asian philosophy at the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco. During this time to support himself and his wife Geoffrey drove a taxi at night so that he could have his days free to work in the studio.

In 1964 he joined the art faculty at San Jose State University and moved to San Jose and became a full professor in 1973. Geoffrey taught at SJSU for twenty-nine years, specializing in lithography and intaglio printmaking techniques.

At the same time he was deeply involved in his own work and accumulated an impressive professional exhibition record and his work was exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally. Bowman’s work is in several public permanent collections including the San Jose Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Achenbach Foundation of Graphic Arts San Francisco, Lannan Foundation New York, and Crown Press Berkeley.

After retiring from teaching in 1994 Geoffrey turned to painting as his primary medium of expression. Although there was a media shift he continued to focus on one subject: the consistency of change. This he accomplished in part with combinations of paint and an assortment of reflective materials such as metallic flake and leaves, glass beads, and light-refracting pigments.

Bowman became quite private in his later years and had his last one-man public exhibition in 2001 at the Fredrick Spratt Gallery in San Jose.

Bowman died in San Jose, California on October 9, 2009.