Rosa Spencer Bower (1865–1960)
Rosa Spencer Bower (nee Dixon), the mother of Olivia Spence Bower, was born at “Eyrewell” in Canterbury, England. Rosa studied at Canterbury School of Art. She also studied at the Slade School of Art, London and with Signor Nardi in Rome, where she developed a fresh and fluid manner of painting, painted famous gardens for owners, and became best known for watercolours of English woodland scenes. Spencer Bower emigrated to New Zealand in 1920, with her husband and twin children, Marmaduke and Olivia.
Rosa was contemporaries with Margaret Stoddart, one of New Zealand’s foremost flower painters, and Frances Hodgkins, one of New Zealand’s most prestigious and influential painters.
Charles Dixon (1872–1934)
British maritime painter, Charles Dixon’s work was highly successful and he regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. Dixon worked in both oils and watercolours and is best known for his marine scenes, particularly his depictions of activity on the Thames in London, and paintings of major events in maritime history.