Pat Farmer

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Patricia P. Dow Farmer (born March 7, 1927 in Winchester, Massachusetts; died May 20, 2022 in Rockport, Maine) was an professor of art history at UAB, director of the UAB Art Gallery, head of the Birmingham Art Association, and chair of the Mayor's Committee for Art in Public Places between 1975 and 1978 while her husband, David Farmer served as director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Pat was the only child of John Aldrich Dow and Katherine Orear Dow. She grew up in Reading, Massachusetts and earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at Middlebury College. She had three children with her first husband, Robert Metzger. She later returned to college and earned a master's degree in art history at the University of North Carolina. There she met David Farmer, to who she was married for 57 years.

After stays in Worcester and Cambridge, Massachusetts and Chicago, Illinois the Farmers moved to Birmingham in 1975. As head of the Birmingham Art Association she brought several notable artists to the city for workshops. David Farmer's former thesis advisor John Schnorrenberg was hired as chair of the UAB Department of Art and Art History and hired Pat Farmer to direct the university's art gallery. In her obituary she was remembered as, "the first woman to wear slacks for an evening party at the Mountain Brook Club."

After leaving Birmingham in 1978 the couple spent time in Santa Barbara, California and New York City, then lived for three years in Belgium before settling in Cushing, Maine. They purchased a farmhouse on the St George River in 1983, dubbing it "Left Field" and raised two more children there while pursuing teaching, writing and editing as a career. She worked as a newspaper editor, as a publicist for the GBH television program "The Advocates", and as publications director for Columbia University's Health Sciences Development. She began painting in watercolors and acrylics, and also pursued travel, hiking and painting as hobbies.

Farmer died in 2022 at the Sussman House hospice in Maine.


  • Boettcher, Graham (June 21, 2022) "In memoriam, Pat P. Farmer." Birmingham Museum of Art