Miguel Pou

Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing original paintings by Miguel Pou. 

Please call (917) 749-4577 or email us at info@beloosesky.com

 

Miguel Pou was born on August 24th, 1880, in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was a Puerto Rican painter, draftsman, and art professor.  Together with José Campeche and Francisco Oller, he has been called one of Puerto Rico's greatest artists. His style was very influenced by the impressionist movement. During his life he exhibited in 64 shows, of which 17 were solo, and won five gold medals.

 

Early in his life Miguel Pou took drawing and painting lessons in Ponce.  He began his training drawing with Pedro Clausells and painting with Spaniard Santiago Meana.  After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the Provincial Institute of Ponce in 1898, he worked as a teacher with the Department of Education. He became a public school teacher at age 20 and an assistant superintendent in the Ponce School District in 1900. In 1906, he completed the courses in teaching drawing at the Hyannis Normal School (now the Hyannis State Teachers College) in Massachusetts. In 1909, he became director of the Dr. Rafael Pujals School in Ponce. He also married Ana Valldejuly in 1909.

 

In 1910 he established the Miguel Pou Academy in Ponce where he influenced numerous young people to develop an interest in art.  He remained director of his school for the next forty years.  He was very much admired for his artistic works in Puerto Rico.  In 1919, he briefly interrupted his presence at the art school to further his studies. In that year he studied in the United States at the Art Students League in New York City and in 1935 at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.  

 

Miguel Pou's was generally impressionistic in his style. He painted Puerto Rican landscapes and jibaro-type paintings. Pou did not have a political statement to make. He wanted to capture the ideal of what a jibaro or jibara was. He painted the beauty that the people and the land had from both the physical and spiritual perspectives while synergistically merging the two. "His work is considered impressionistic because of his use of a palette of colors and of light, although he presented reality as he saw it, without softening or exaggerating it. Nevertheless, he is a painter of the realist school because of his effort to depict Puerto Rican reality.”

 

By 1926 he had established a name for himself and Pou was considered among Puerto Rico's greatest painters. His inclination for painting everyday life scenes readily helped identify Pou as an impressionistic movement painter.  He liked to portray what the artist called "regional types". In terms of subject matter, he aimed to reflect the soul of the Puerto Rican people and a way of life he feared was being blown by the winds of modernity. His best work was local, embracing the land, its people, and their customs. Like Campeche and Oller before him, Pou helped to define the national character of Puerto Rico during his lifetime, and he added to Puerto Rico's artistic tradition in equally important ways.

 

According to the Worcester Art Museum, "Miguel Pou... shows thorough command of the concerns of the Ashcan school, and applied it to the depiction of local types."  The importance he places on light and color in his paintings reflects the influence of impressionism. He was inspired by the rural and urban landscapes, popular characters and the human figure.

 

In addition to exhibiting his work on the island, he participated in collective exhibitions such as the Paris Colonial Exhibition (1931), the National Exhibition of American Art in New York (1938), and the Second Biennial Exhibition of Spanish American Art in Madrid (1951). The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture held a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1957.

 

Among the prizes he was awarded were two gold medals in the Ponce Progressive League competition for his works (1914), a medal and certificate of honor from the Puerto Rican Athenaeum (1924) and a gold medal for his contributions to the culture of Puerto Rico from the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (1960).

 

Today, some of his works can be seen at the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Juan, at the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art at the University of Puerto Rico's Río Piedras campus and at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art.

 

Miguel Pou died in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 6th, 1968.