©Barlow Genealogy   1998-2009

Myron G. Barlow, son of Adolph Barlow

1873 - 1937
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Myron G. Barlow was raised in Detroit, Michigan and remained deeply associated with that city even after he moved to France, where he lived for most of his life. His artistic career began during his teen years, when formal art training at the Detroit Museum School and at the Chicago Art Institute. He then traveled to Europe and enrolled in the Ecole des Beau-Arts, Paris in the atelier of Jean-Leon Gerome. Evidently, beginning early in his career, Barlow favored genre subjects in general, and he showed a number of these at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he exhibited almost every year from 1903 to 1910. Similarly, he showed paintings at the National Academy of Design in New York in 1907 and 1916. His Parisian experience was enhanced by study at the Academie Colarossi and, in 1898, by the first of many trips to Holland. Copying paintings in the Rijksmuseum, Barlow discovered Vermeer, from whose work he derived much inspiration. Like Vermeer, one of Barlow's favorite artistic themes became the depiction of figures, often female and usually set in an interior; frequently isolated and motionless, surrounded by a dream-like atmosphere rendered in a single, dominant tonality, often blue. Certainly some of these considerations pertain to many of Barlows paintings including, "A Quiet Moment; Knitting in the Garden".

The artist's sensitivity to subtle human emotion is apparent as the woman, casually strolling through the garden, is caught in a moment of thoughtful reverie. The traditional aspects of the work contrast not only with the looser, more modern brushwork that surrounds the figure but also with the very shape of the canvas itself, which is square. The isolation of this young woman and that of many of Barlow's subjects was a reflection of the artist's own life. Around 1900, he discovered the French vilage of Trepied in the Artois and moved there, living alone for many years. He transformed a peasant's house into his studio and took to posing his models against a background of poppies in the bright sunlight of his garden. By 1914, it was noted that he was one of the oldest members of the expatriate colony in Trepied. -- adapted from Gert's, Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfiel collection.
Myron Barlow 1
A Quiet Moment; Knitting in the Garden
Firelight, c1890
Detroit News  August 01, 1932

Word was received today that Myron Barlow, well-known Detroit artist, who for many years has lived at Etaples, France, has been awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government.

The French government, like the British, issues several classes of decorations for distinction in various walks of like, of which the Legion of Honor is the highest and most prized.  In recent years it has seldom been awarded to foreigners.

Mr. Barlow is the son of Adolph Barlow, 362 Woodland avenue.

Mr. Barlow studied in France under Gerome and other masters at the Beaux Arts.  In 1907 he was elected a member of the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts.  His pictures wond gold medals at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904 and at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.  The Detroit Institute of Arts owns several of his pictures, and he is also represented in the Pennsylvania Academy, and other art galleries in both America and France.  Four of his murals adorn the tower of Temple Beth El.

Accustomed to make almost annual visits to Detroit, Mr. Barlow was compelled by the World War to make a stay of more than four years here, for Etaples became an armed camp.  On several occasions, his studio, a mile out of town, narrowly missed destruction by German bombs.

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Myron Barlow 2
Wins Honor  Myron Barlow, Detroit Painter Awarded Legion of Honor
August 07, 1932, Detroit News

In spite of the fact that Myron Barlow has spent the greater part of every year for almost 40 years in him home in Etaples, France, he remains very much a Detroit painter.  This is not only because he has returned to this city for a short visit almost every year since he first went abroad to study in 1894, but also because many of his best canvases may be found in Detroit homes.

It is with peculiar satisfaction, therefore, that his friends here learned that the French government has conferred upon him the medal of the Legion of Honor last week, in recognition of his achievement as a painter.

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Myron Barlow, Etaples, France     August 16, 1937 (AP)

Myron Barlow, 64 year-old artist of Detroit, Mich., died today at this fishing town on his annual visit to France.

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Myron Barlow
Detroit News     August 16, 1937

Artist Barlow Dies in France

Famed Detroit Painter Last of Old Group

By Florence Davis, Art Editor, The Detroit News

Myron Barlow, internationally known Detroit artist, died at his home in Etaples, France, Saturday evening. The news of his death was received at his home here Sunday.  Although not in robust health when he left Detroit for France last May following a visit here, he was not actually ill, and the news of his death came without previous warning. He was 64 years old.

The announcement of Barlow's death was received in Detroit with poignant regret by hundreds of Art lovers who knew him and his work. He was practically the last of the old group of Detroit painters who have won recognition in Europe and America and who stood for fine achievement in painting.


Although younger than others, he carried on the tradition of such men as the lat Gari Melchers, Julius Rolshoven, Francis P. Paulus, Percy Ives and Joseph Gies, who was his teacher in the early days here in Detroit.

Barlow's painting was always distinguished by fine taste. He revealed a thorough mastery of draughtsmanship and composition, a subtle and beautiful sense of color.

In his subject matter, he glorified the humble and simple life of the French peasant, and expressed in all his figure studies an especially human and tender quality.


His famous picture, "The Cup of Tea," owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts, is typical of the type of thing which he liked best to do. This, as most of his other figure studies, reveals his love of beauty and repose.

He was a close student and sincere admirer of the great Dutch master Vermeer who influenced him strongly in his painting; of the Italian, Piero della Francesca, whom he believed had discovered the principles of the Impressionists long before they did. He also admired the great French muralist, Puvis de Chavannes, who had much the same mastery of subtle and beautiful color as Barlow. Barlow  himself was never intolerant of the work of others. He disliked what seems to him the irrational element in modern painting but he was always a generous and appreciative critic of the work of others.

Although his paintings hang in scores of Detroit homes and in museums all over the world, many people were unaware of one of their chief virtues. This lay in the lasting quality of the paint he used. For many years, Barlow was disturbed by the fact that many great masterpieces were fading (as in the case of Whistler's work) and might someday be all but indistinguishable.


This inspired him to make a thorough study of the chemistry of paint, and to seek the formula for lasting pigments. This he believed that he had accomplished, and he always ground and mixed his own paints.

During the latter part of his life he did intensive work on a special engraving process.
Barlow, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Barlow, who lived in Detroit for many years, was born in Ionia, Mich, in 1873. He began his career as a newspaper artist and studied here under Joseph Gies, later spending a year at the Chicago Art Institute. At 21 he went to Paris, where he attracted the attention of the great Bouguereau, and became a pupil of Gerome at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

He received his first medal when he was 22 years old and since that was awarded many other academic medals and prizes.

In 1907 he was the only American who had been elected to the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts, and in 1932 he was made a member of the Legion of Honor by the French Government.


Among his major achievements in Detroit are six large murals which he painted for the main auditorium of Temple Beth El, which were completed in 1925.

Barlow left Detroit in May to return to France with the intention of selling his studio. Tepled, near Etaples, a small town south of Boulogne. The studio was charmingly situated amid a colony of fellow artists, which since the war, has been broken up through death and desertion. It was his intention to return to Detroit to spend the remainder of his life.

He leaves one brother, Bernard Barlow of Detroit and five sisters, the Misses Pauline, Celia, and Belle Barlow, who reside in the family home at 362 Woodland; Mrs. Julius Rothschild and Mrs. Sidney S. Weinman, also of Detroit.

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August 17, 1937, Detroit News

Contributions to Detroit Art Recalled by Barlow's Death.

He Was One of the Last Group Who Brought Fame to City a Generation Ago

By Len G. Shaw

The death of Myron Barlow at his studio home, near Etaples, France, last Saturday, was a source of deep grief to the many friends of this kindly soul who passed away so far from the place of his birth, but in the land he loved, and where he had spent so much of his life.

However, it has a far deeper import than the death of one whom to know was to admire, because it wrote finis to the career of almost the last member of the considerable group of artists who brought fame to Detroit a short generation ago, and whose works are treasured not only by local collectors, but are to be found wherever art at its best is appreciated.

Gari Melchers Recalled

Among those best recalled is Gari Melchers, who as a boy began his artistic career painting wooden Indians in his father's studio almost within the shadow of the Wayne County Building, and whose "The Wedding," to mention only one of his canvases, has drawn the attention of countless thousands at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Percy Ives painted portraits of distinguished Detroiters, and occasionally wandered briefly into other fields.

Robert Hopkins' marines were internationally famous, Julius Rolshoven found his chief delight in living among the sun-worshiping Taos Indians in New Mexico, and perpetuating thier life in oils. Joseph Gies was famed for his landscapes and figures. Charles Waltenmerger specialized in Dutch interiors, and gave an individual mellowness to his paintings of women and children that made them greatly admired. Edward Wagner's sculpture adorned some of the most imposing buildings in far parts of the earth. Francis Paulus delighted to paint and etch the Bruge canals and their people.

Wicker Elected to Teach

John Wicker, who might have reached the heights attained by his Detroit contemporaries had he so elected, preferred to teach, and was the mentor of more young artists than the world will ever know, as he gave himself unstintingly to his self-appointed task.

Later there was Roman Kryzanowski, skilled in still life and composition. Williw Sesser was a master of poster work that called for as high creative and technical ability as did the more immpressive canvases of his fellows.

Myron Barlow's was a restricted field; through preference. Early in his career - he first went abroad to study in 1894 - he became enamored of the dwellers along the coast of France looking out over the Straits of Dover. He painted the women of the countryside and the fishing villages, in the soft tones of which he was such a master, with a touch here and there that tempered the ruggedness of his models without robbing them of any of the inherent strength.

Restful Quality to His Work

There was a restful quality to all he did that appealed even to one unversed in art. And always draping the shoulders of the women, or serving as a covering for a table about which they were grouped, were the Paisley shawls with their variegated colors of which he was so fond, and of which he possessed one of the finest collections to be found anywhere.

Quiet, warmhearted, a boon companion, unselfish to the Nth degree, not only willing, but eager to impart to a beginner the little tricks of the profession he had developed in the blending of colors and the preparation of canvas, Barlow was beloved by all who knew him. A less familiar figure than most of his contemporaries, partly through long residence abroad, and partly through an inherent modesty that was almost shyness, and continued to the last. Barlow nevertheless left as strong an impression in the world of art as did any of those other departed Detroiters who gained enviable distinction.

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Detroit News, October 15, 1939

Many Detroit art lovers who are familiar with the beautiful interiors and tenderly seen figure studies painted by the well-known Detroit artist, the late Myron Barlow, are not aware of the wealth of drawings and etchings which he produced during a busy lifetime devoted to art.

Some conception of the vast amount of painstaking work which Barlow carried on in his studio, during the years he spent in France, some of it in connection with studies made for paintings and some for its own sake, may be gained from the fact that he left portfolios filled with literaly hundreds of drawings and fine impressions of etched plates.

The rich contents of thes portfolios will be opened to the public this week when a selection of the etchings and drawings will be shown by members of his family in the home of his sister, Mrs. Sidney S. Wineman, at 74 McLean avenue, Highland Park.

The collection will be shown on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m. and on the evenings of the same days between the hours of 7 to 10.

Friends of the family and artists, as well as all who are interested in the graphic arts are invited to attend the exhibition.

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Life of Country Folk Favorite Theme of Late Myron Barlow
Myron Barlow
October 22, 1937, Detroit News

These two paintings shown here represent a recent and older canvas by the late Myron Barlow, well beloved Detroit artist whose death in France occurred a week ago.  Since it was in accordance with his wish, he was buried in France, where he had spent many happy years in his studio at Etaples.  Burial took place at Etaples on Thursday, August 19.  The two paintings shown here are from a collection in the John Hanna Galleries where he has been represented for many years.  The single figure with head scarf, called "Picardy", reveals the firmer touch and the higher color of his recent manner.  The standing figure at the table with a bowl of flowers, called "Snowballs," is painted in the manner of fully ten years ago, and shows a rather softer, more diffused treatment and is in slightly lower key.

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Myron Barlow Drawing
Barlow Drawings to Be Shown
Date not known, Detroit News

Although a large group of paintings by the late Mryon Barlow were seen in the memorial show, which has just closed at the Institute of Arts, no showing was made of the original drawings and early impressions of his etched plates which were brought from his studio in Etaples, France.  These will be shown next week in room 408 of the Fine Arts Building on Adams avenue west.  The exhibition is being arranged by his sister, Miss Celia Barlow.  Here is one of his impressive character studies.

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In The Garden
In the Garden
Resting by a Basket of Flowers
Resting By a Basket of Flowers
Page by John F. Barlow
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