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Subject: A death

A death

From: Anne Driesse <anne_driesse<-a>
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Craigen Weston Bowen

Craigen Weston Bowen, Deputy Director of the Straus Center for
Conservation at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum and an
accomplished rock climber and gardener, died at her home in
Lexington, MA, on March 1, 2008, sixteen months after being
diagnosed with cancer. She was 54.

She was born Ruth Craigen Weston on November 10, 1953, the daughter
of Frederick W. Weston Jr. and the late Ruth L. Weston, and spent
her childhood in West Long Branch, NJ, and Rome, ME. At Smith
College, she double-majored in Art and Astronomy, with a minor in
Physics, and developed into a talented lithographer. After
graduating in 1975, she began a three-year apprenticeship in the
conservation laboratory at the Fogg under Marjorie B. Cohn,
specializing in the conservation of works of art on paper. She later
collaborated with Ms. Cohn on scholarly projects. In 1978, Craigen
moved to the Williamstown Regional Conservation Laboratory at the
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, where
she founded the paper conservation laboratory. In 1980, she returned
to the Fogg. That same year, she married Mark S. Bowen, whose family
owns a home on the same lake in Maine as hers.

Craigen was the recipient of an Indo-U.S. Sub-commission grant to
travel to Kota, India, in 1987, and made several subsequent trips
there to treat and study the royal collections of H.H. Maharao
Brijraj Singh in the Rao Madho Singh Trust Museum. In 1994, the
Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard awarded her
the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. This month, she was
awarded the prestigious Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award by the
American Institute for Conservation, which recognizes a sustained
record of excellence in the education and training of conservation
professionals. At the time of her death, in addition to her role as
Deputy Director of the laboratory, Craigen held an endowed position
as Philip and Lynn Straus Conservator of Works of Art on Paper at
the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies. The
Craigen W. Bowen Fellowship was established in her honor in 2007, to
fund the further training of young conservation and curatorial
professionals who specialize in works on paper.

Craigen was a well-known and avid rock climber and mountaineer.
During her Harvard apprenticeship, she took the spring rock climbing
program offered by the Appalachian Mountain Club, cutting her teeth
at small crags around Boston, such as the Quincy Quarries,
Rattlesnake Rocks, and Crow Hill. She became known for her fierce
determination and masterful technique, especially with her feet. At
that time women usually played a secondary role to men in the ascent
of difficult climbs, and there were few all-women teams. She was
among a handful of women who broke that mold. In Yankee Rock and Ice
by Laura and Guy Waterman, the definitive history of climbing in the
northeast, she and her dear friend Beverly Boynton are cited for
climbing difficult routes "with authority and style." (These words
might describe Craigen's approach to all her endeavors.) Over the
course of nearly 30 years, she climbed extensively in North America
and Mexico with a core group of friends and made lasting connections
with many others. She enjoyed all aspects of the sport: the
climbing, the relaxed days between, sitting in the sun, cooking
great meals, sharing "war stories" with friends, and even the dark
nights huddled in the rain on cold mountaintops or spectacularly
high cliffs. She was most proud of her ascents in the Bugaboo group
in British Columbia, Wyoming's Wind River Range, and, shortly before
her 40th birthday, the multi-day, 3000-foot Salathe Wall, on
Yosemite Valley's El Capitan, which has been called the most
beautiful climb in the world.

Among her many interests and talents, Craigen was an imaginative
cook, expert skier and waterskier, prolific knitter, and implacable
organizer and taskmaster. She took great pleasure in gardening,
reading, and, later in life, learning to play the piano. Her
children, nieces, and nephews fondly remember many summers in Maine
under her tutelage, hauling brush, moving rocks (some more than
once), having the climbers up for weekends, laughing, and playing
cards.

Craigen is survived by her children, Andrew and Anna Bowen, of
Lexington and Arlington; her partner, James W. Evans, of Watertown,
MA; her father, Frederick W. Weston Jr., of Belgrade Lakes, ME; her
sister, Martha Weston Feldmann, and her children, Hillary and
Jeffrey Feldmann, of East Greenwich, RI; her brother, Frederick W.
Weston III, his wife, Karen Lindstadt Weston, and their children,
Rachel and Paul Weston, of Waterbury, VT; dear friend and cousin,
Hillary Schultz and her husband Peter, of Rome, ME; friend and
former husband, Mark S. Bowen, of Arlington, MA; and legions of
devoted cousins, colleagues, and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 3 pm on March 22, 2008, in the
Calderwood Courtyard at the Fogg Art Museum on the campus of Harvard
University. In lieu of flowers, donations in Craigen's name may be
made to:  The Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, PO Box 250,
Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918; Harvard University Art Museums, 32 Quincy
St., Cambridge, MA (for the study centers at 32 Quincy St.); or the
Landscape Committee, PTSA, Lexington High School, 251 Waltham St.,
Lexington, MA 02421.

Anne Driesse
Conservator of Works of
Art on Paper
Straus Center for Conservation
617-496-1902
Fax: 617-495-0322


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:47
                  Distributed: Saturday, March 8, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-47-001
                                  ***
Received on Thursday, 6 March, 2008

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