A close associate of American icon Jane Peterson, Harriette Bowdoin studied under Frank Brangwyn in London where the two women are believed to have first met. Prior to 1905, Bowdoin was instructed by both Henry Bailey Snell in Pennsylvania and Elliott Dangerfield in New York. In company with Peterson, Bowdoin traveled to Venice in 1908. Their works from this journey include heavy palette oil paintings, somewhat of a departure from their more widely known floral cityscapes, pier fronts and romantic works, often in watercolor.
Broad, sweeping brushstrokes and bold techniques using vibrant color are fundamentally incorporated in the style of the artist. Bowdoin primarily set up her studios in New York, but traveled often through her career. She exhibited widely, including seven straight years at the National Academy of Design. Her subjects vary from the brightest floral settings to the subways of New York City. Ladies at recreation are often featured, and interior settings dominate the last two decades of her lifelong artistic pursuit.
Bowdoin ventured into other mediums, working with three-dimensional craft objects and as a illustrator for fictional novel house, Harcourt Brace & Company. She was a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, the American Water Color Scoiety and the New York Society of Painters. Her post-impressionistic paintings are at the top of her output.
Bowdoin exhibited with the National Academy of Design, New York, (1913-20) the Art Institute of Chicago (1911-1918) the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco (1915) and the Society of Independent Artists, New York (1917) where she listed her studio at 1947 Broadway, New York City.