Ken Howard OBE, RA It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Ken Howard, who died on 11th September 2022. Born in 1932, Ken was 90 years old and suffered a bad fall at his studio in Cornwall. He will be greatly missed by his wife Dora. I first became aware of Ken’s wonderful paintings around 25 years ago when I started exhibiting with Thompson’s Galleries in London and Aldeburgh, where Ken also exhibited. We purchased an oil at that time and as the years passed I got to know Ken very well. We corresponded and he would write to me about his latest exhibition, and where his travels would take him to next.
He wasn’t a stranger to Paisley Art Institute where he was awarded Honarary Membership. He regularly exhibited in the Annual PAI Exhibition in Paisley Art Gallery. I got to know him a bit better when, in 2015, for the Dinner to celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished Gallery at Glasgow Art Club, Ken accepted our invitation to stay with us for a couple of days. It was such a pleasure to get to know him privately, and enjoy his stories and anecdotes about his life as a painter.
Ken Howard studied at Hornsey School of Art from 1949 to 1953. He then did his National Service with the Royal Marines before returning to study at the Royal College of Art from 1955 to 1958. He went on to win a British Council Scholarship to Florence from 1958 to 1959. Howard’s first solo show was held at the Plymouth Art Centre in 1955.
Subsequent exhibitions were held in 1966 and 1968 at the John Whibley Gallery. From then on he exhibited extensively, both nationally and internationally, particularly with the New Grafton Gallery from the early 1970s. He was given a retrospective in 1972 at the Plymouth City Art Gallery and in 1973 and 1979 was appointed by the Imperial War Museum as official artist in Northern Ireland. He also worked with the British Army in Germany, Cyprus, Oman, Hong Kong, Nepal, Norway, Canada, Belize and Brunei from 1973 to 1982.
Howard was elected a member of the New English Art Club in 1962, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1966, the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1979, the Royal West of England Academy 1981, Honorary Member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1988, Royal Academician in 1991 & President of the New English Art Club in 1998. Among his numerous awards are First Prize in the Lord Mayor’s Art Award in 1966, a Prize Winner in the John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool in 1978, first prize in the Hunting Group Awards and the Critics Prize at Sparkasse Karlsruhe in 1985.
Robert Kelsey PAI