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Emmet Gowin (American, b.1941)

Photography

Also known as:  Gowin, Emmet William S.

Birth Place: Danville, VA USA

Biography:

Who is photographer Emmet Gowin?

Emit Gowin is an American portrait and landscape photographer whose photos of the American West led to a 25-year teaching career at Princeton University. Gowin’s photos have been exhibited in solo shows in some of the best galleries in the world. His success in both the academic and artistic worlds is unusual, and Gowin himself credited much of his growth as an artist to his students’ ability to keep him young and constantly learning. 

Gowin was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974. He used the money to travel to Europe, taking photographs. He received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1979 and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 1994. In the 1980s, Gowin also was the recipient of a scholarship from the Seattle Arts Commission which coincidentally coincided with the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Gowin was allowed to take aerial photographs soon after the tragedy struck, giving the world new insight into the tragedy with a previously unimaginable perspective.

What kind of art does Emmet Gowin make?

Emmet Gowin produced photographs, the vast majority of which broke down into three categories: portraits (mostly of his wife, Edith), landscapes, and aerial photographs. Many of his early photographs are taken with a simple set up: a 4 X 5 camera and tripod, which he preferred for the intimacy it allowed with the photograph’s subject. Gowin’s style changed and shifted many times throughout his career, thanks in large part to his life-long love of learning -- Gowin said that his students were integral to his evolution as an artist. 

How did photographer Emmet Gowin get started?

Emmet Gowin was inspired at an early age by an Ansel Adams photograph. He mimicked Adams’ subjects by wandering the woods as a teen taking photographs of marshes and trees. Later, he attended Richmond Professional Institute where he was inspired by the photographs of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson. While in college, he met his wife Edith Morris who would become his muse and primary subject for several decades. In 1965, Gowin attended the Rhode Island School of Design, earning an MFA in photography. A year later he held his first solo exhibition at the Dayton Art Institute, where he was showered with critical acclaim. 

How much are Emmet Gowin photos worth?

Emmet Gowin’s photographic prints can be worth a few hundred dollars on the low end and up to eight thousand on the high end. One of his silver prints from the 1960s is likely to be on the more valuable side. The high estimate for an Emmet Gowin photograph is for Edith, Chincoteague, Virginia (1967) which was estimated to sell at $8,000. It is more than double the estimated value of any other Emmet Gowin photography currently on the market. 

Where to buy Emmet Gowin photographs for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Emmet Gowin photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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