Biografie von Howard Norton COOK (1901-1980)

Birth place: Springfield, MA

Death place: Santa Fe, NM

Addresses: Ranchos de Taos, NM, 1935

Profession: Painter, printmaker, illustrator, educator, etcher, block printer

Studied: ASL, 1919-21 (scholarship) with Dasburg and Sterne; also with Bridgeman, Dumond, Morgan & Pennell & Europe; in Mexico on Guggenheim Fellowship (fresco technique)

Exhibited: Phila. PC, 1929 (prize), 1933 (prize); Brooklyn SE, 1931 (prize); 50 Prints of the Year, 1931-35; Warsaw, 1933 (prize); AIC, 1933 (Logan Medal), 1934, 1935 (prize), 1936-46; SAE, 1934 (prize), 1936 (prize); Phila. Artists All., 1934 (prize); Phila. Pr. Cl., 1937 (prize); Arch. Lg., 1937 (gold for mural painting); PAFA, 1939-53; AV, MMA, 1942 (medal), 1951; Rehn Gal., 1945; Kennedy Gal., 1945;WMAA; BM; California WC Soc.; Springfield Mus. FA; Weyhe Gal. (solo exhibits); Corcoran Gal, 1953; NAD, 1963 (Samuel F. B. Morse gold medal); Detroit Public Library Mural Exhib., 1956; Kennedy Gal, NYC, 1970s; Mission Gal, Taos, NM, 1970s.

Member: ASL (life member); NAD (life member); Taos Art Assn. (life member ); Prairie PM; Mural Painters; SAE; AFA

Work: MoMA; MMA; WMAA; PMA; Minneapolis Art Inst.; Fogg Art Mus., Harvard; BMA; NYPL; Mattatuck Hist. Soc., Waterbury, CT; AIC; Lehigh Univ.; Princeton; Newark Mus.; Public Library, Springfield, MA; Hamilton College; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Kupferstich Kabinett, Berlin; Brit. Mus.; Victoria & Albert Mus. Commissions: Two fresco murals, commissioned by WPA, Law Library, Springfield, MA, 1934; fresco mural, commissioned by Sect Fine Arts, Pittsburgh (PA) Court House, 1936; sixteen mural panels, Fed. Bldg., San Antonio, TX, 1937-39; two tempera murals, Post Office Bldg., Corpus Christi, TX, 1941; mural, Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Bldg., Rochester, MN, 1952-54.

Comments: Cook began work as a commercial artist. He illustrated for several national magazines, traveling to Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. In 1926 he was in Taos, making woodcuts to illustrate Death Comes for the Archbishop. Next he turned to murals and studied in Mexico and sketched in the South. He settled in Taos in 1935 with his wife, Barbara Latham, also an artist. In 1944 he began painting in oil and for the remainder of his career depicted the southwestern landscape and Pueblo Indians in a monumental style. During WWII he was an artist for the Navy. Preferred media: oils, watercolors, pastels, graphics. Positions: member jury, US Govt. Section Fine Arts, Wash., DC, 1937; member jury, Am. Art, MMA, 1951. Teaching: Univ. New Mexico, 1938, 1946-47, 1950, 1960; Univ. Texas, 1942-43; Minneapolis Inst. Art, 1945, 1958; UCal, Berkeley, summer 1948; Scripps College, summer 1951; Washington Univ., 1954; Highlands Univ., summer 1957. Illustrator: Harpers and other magazines, 1922-27. Author/illustrator: Sammi's Army, 1943; "From Prints to Frescoes," Am. Magazine Art, 1/1942; "Making a Watercolor," Am. Artist Magazine, 1945. Signature note: Cook did not sign all of his prints at the time they were printed. In the late 1940s, he developoed multiple sclerosis, but signed some of his prints that dated back to the 1920s. Therfore, his signature can appear inconsistent on prints from the 1920s-60s.

Sources: WW73; WW47; Carl Zigrosser, The Artist in America (1942); Carl Zigrosser, "Howard Cook," New Mexico Quarterly (1950); P&H Samuels, 104-05; Eldredge, et al., Art in New Mexico, 1900-1945, 194

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