Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Memoriam: Craigen Weston Bowen

We here at Stevereads pause in our labors to mourn the passing of Craigen Weston Bowen, who was killed recently by cancer at the age of 54.

She was the deputy director of the Strauss Center for Conservation at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum, and her passion for the work she did preserving pieces of art was matched by the passion she brought to every endeavor - and every friendship - in her life. She climbed rocks (as near as Quincy and as far as Yosemite) with the same elegant, glowing enthusiasm she did everything else. Conversations were explorations with her, simple outings became hilarious expeditions, gardening could be a kind of prayer, and the highest reward in all of it was to hear that laugh, so throaty, so fluting, so utterly inimitable.

That laugh is gone from the world now, as is all the joyful teaching she did all the time, without ever meaning to. But her profession was also her best talent in life: she brought beauty to everything she touched. We who cannot right now imagine a world without her can take some small comfort in that.

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