Dr. Rachel Owen—Artist, Scholar, and Longtime Partner of Thom Yorke—Is Dead at 48
Dr. Rachel Owen, a professor and Italian scholar, as well as an artist and partner of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke for over 23 years, died on Sunday of cancer. She was 48 years old. An obituary was posted to the website of Oxford University’s Pembroke College, where Owen taught, on Monday, announcing the news.
Owen was an expert printmaker, and combined her scholarly interest in early illustrations for Dante’s The Divine Comedy with her own skills as an artist. The Pembroke obituary clarified that there will be a posthumous exhibit of Owen’s prints, inspired by Dante’s text, exhibited in the school’s art gallery in the coming term. As cited in a Paste remembrance, Owen described her work as “photographic screen prints exploring the idea of transformation, both natural and supernatural.”
Owen and Yorke’s relationship came under the spotlight recently: The two had split in August of 2015, and Radiohead’s newest album, A Moon Shaped Pool, has been widely interpreted as being, in part, a meditation on their relationship. The couple had two children, Noah and Agnes, together.
Read more about Dr. Owen’s life, and see some of her work, here.