(New Hope, Pa / 1900 - 1978)
Ben Solowey was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1900. Known as both a sculptor and a painter, Solowey came to the United States at age 14. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1935, and studied at the Graphic Sketch Club and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He eventually settled in the Bucks County area. Ben Solowey painted portraits of an array of theatrical personalities, including portraits of eminent figures such as Lawrence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn, but his favorite subject was his wife, Rae, to whom he had become engaged on their first date. The couple became prominent in New Hope Pennsylvania where they moved in 1942. His portrait work is well represented in Philadelphia, hanging in various institutions including Kensington Hospital, Philadelphia General Hospital, the Philadelphia Board of Education & Pennsylvania School of Social Works, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Solowey exhibited at the National Academy of Design; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1922, 1927-28, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1938, and 1954 (in which he received a gold medal); the Salons of America in 1934; Art Institute of Chicago in 1936, 1937, and 1939; American Watercolor Society in 1934, 1936; Wilmington Society of Fine Arts; Woodmere Art Gallery, Philadelphia in 1970 (in which he received a sculpture award). He earned a medal from the Philadelphia Watercolor Club, and won the Allentown Art Museum Drawing Award in 1971. The artist died in 1978.