Born in 1892, American HUBERT JULIAN STOWITTS first won fame in the Americas and Europe as partner to legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (1915-1921). As a solo artist, Stowitts’ bravura dancing and debonair style next became “The Rage” of London in 1922, while 1923 found him astonishing Manhattan with his first art exhibition & an “arresting”, near-nude performance at the Music Box Revue before headlining at the Folies Bergère in 1924. While there, Stowitts’ more sophisticated design style would greatly influence its flashy costumier Erté, who would, not long afterward, unabashedly steal from Stowitts’ FAY YEN FAH suite for his extremely lucrative Alphabet series. Giving up the stage, Stowitts’ second, even greater celebrity occurred a decade later as a pioneering ethnographer & portrait painter — of poet Ezra Pound, Italian dictator Mussolini, various Asian Royals and others. His massive 1930s exhibitions — totaling nearly 200 canvases documenting the ROYAL THEATRE ARTS OF JAVA and the population found throughout a VANISHING INDIA — set world-wide museum attendance records.
Stowitts titled his last completed accomplishment THE ATOMIC AGE SUITE (which was alternately titled MANDALAS OF THE HIDDEN WISDOM by the curator of its premiere exhibition in 2000). Its ten images are unlike anything ever seen — except perhaps in religious iconography — and captivate the viewer through scintillating geometrics (via the use of metallic-flake paint). The images can actually induce altered states of consciousness . . . as was their intention. Rich with dynamic symbolism, they illustrate “the evolution of the human soul” according to the principles of the long-overlooked Theosophy of Alice A. Bailey. Stowitts died penniless in 1953. The art he had insisted on keeping united for “future generations” languished for decades in storage before being discovered by the sharp diligence of art historian, Anne Holliday, the “patron saint” of All-Stowitts.com. Without Anne’s efforts, Stowitts would still be lost to history and it is in her honor that we attempt to bring Stowitts back to his rightful place in Dance and World history. Though a self-taught artist / ethnographer / historian (typical of the era), Stowitts’ work cannot (and should not) be forgotten, for it documents a lost, dynamic past — before the invention of the color camera — with vivid, full-color photo-realism. While not, perhaps, “fine art” in the strictest definition, Stowitts’ entire catalog is nevertheless visceral, immediate and deeply satsifying to most viewers. The world twice declared Stowitts a “Rage” in the twentieth century. . . It’s time now for the twenty-first to meet this forgotten genius!
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