Painter was a por­trait of a per­fect gen­tle­man

Palm Beach Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

Iwas so sad­dened to learn last week of the death of painter Ralph Wolfe Cowan, a friend who was well known to many a Palm Beacher for his lav­ish por­traits.

Mr. Cowan, who died at 86 on Sept. 4 in West Palm Beach, was pro­lific, work­ing on can­vas af­ter can­vas dur­ing his life­time. His color and sepia por­traits cap­tured some of the world’s most pow­er­ful and pop­u­lar per­sonas — Johnny Mathis, Deb­bie Reynolds and royal fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing the Sul­tan of Brunei and Monaco’s Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and Prince Al­bert.

He was the por­trait painter of Imelda and Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, and also painted images of Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan and first lady Nancy Rea­gan, as well as other mem­bers of pres­i­den­tial fam­i­lies. I re­call a hand­some por­trait of first lady Ros­alynn and Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, which hung on the stair­case walls of the Mar­coses’

New York res­i­dence on 66th Street.

Ralph also did por­traits of those in Palm Beach so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing a fa­mous one of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, but painted long be­fore he moved into the White House. I’m sure many of you have seen it: He is wear­ing a white V-neck ten­nis sweater edged in red and royal blue. The paint­ing now hangs in the bar at Mar-a-Lago.

I worked with Ralph on a num­ber of projects. Some years ago for the Pres­i­dent Par­lor at

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