Estate Spotlight: A Fashionable Legacy

Marian Fowler

As a biographer, Marian Fowler wrote volumes about people whose impact lasted well beyond their lifetimes. Now, through an estate gift to the ROM, she has established her own powerful legacy that will endure far into the future.

Marian was born in Toronto in 1929. After graduating from Trinity College, University of Toronto, she taught for 12 years at York University before turning to writing full-time. She wrote several acclaimed works of biography and social history—including The Embroidered Tent and Below the Peacock Fan—but it was her sense of fashion and flair for vintage clothes and costume jewellery that left a deep impression on those who knew her.

“Marian brought a sparkle to every event that she attended,” recalls Phillip Cheong, Currelly Legacy Society executive and Co-Chair of the Bishop White Committee. “Always impeccably and fabulously dressed, she was full of grace, wit and information.”

Before she passed away in the spring of 2020, Marian included a generous gift in her estate plan to support the ROM’s highest priorities. Her commitment will enable public programming, exhibitions and curatorial activities that engage millions of visitors each year. This gift builds on her two previous charitable annuity gifts to the ROM. Her generosity, coupled with her passion for art and fashion, has helped advance a highly successful textiles exhibition and an important addition to the Museum’s European Collection.

The ROM is deeply grateful to Marian for her tremendous dedication and support of the future of the Museum. Through her gifts, her passions for art and fashion will be shared with future generations.