Vivian Bower, a long-time resident of New York City and Cape Cod, died peacefully at age 79 on Feb. 21, 2021 at her home in Truro. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, said her husband, the writer Lawrence Shainberg.
A painter and former ceramicist, she was born the youngest of four daughters in New York City in 1941. She’d made Cape Cod her part-time home since 1976.
She came to the Cape with her first husband, the photographer Joel Meyerowitz, lived in Provincetown for 11 years, then moved to Truro with Shainberg, her second husband. Her work moved and changed as she did. Before she came to Provincetown, her ceramics had been uncannily influenced by the tides, the surf, and the dunes, which were soon to engage her directly. Living on the bay, she began working in pastel, her continuing engagement with seascape expanding toward sky and horizon. Moving down Cape, working in oil as well as pastel, she found in her new landscape a passion equal to that which she’d found in Provincetown.
Exhibited at various galleries in New York, Provincetown, and Wellfleet as well as at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and the Fine Arts Work Center, Bower’s work is in the permanent collections of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Florida Holocaust Museum. She was awarded grants by the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Foundation for the Arts.
Her life was inspired by a great range of passions — biking, travel, dance, music, and, above all, family — and her death was transfigured by her devotion to Buddhist practice. Rejecting chemotherapy and alternative treatment, she chose to accept her disease without resistance or evasion. Her clarity and courage tempered the sorrow of those who loved her and shaped their grief, when she passed, with inspiration.
In addition to her husband, she leaves her son and daughter, Sasha Meyerowitz and Ariel Meyerowitz-Weller; their spouses, Tatjana Krizmanic and David Weller; and two grandchildren, Anton Meyerowitz and Sadie Bay Weller. The family requests that donations in her honor go to the International Rescue Committee.