|Beryl Cook OBE (1926-2008)|
Oil on board
26 x 30 inches
Christie's, London, 20th Century British Art, 12th July 2012, Lot 489.
Exhibition of the Paintings of Beryl Cook, Alexander Gallery, Bristol, August 1978.
Beryl Cook OBE (1926-2008):
Born in Egham in Surrey in 1926, Beryl Cook is well loved for her comical, sometimes bawdy, paintings of everyday life. She left Kendrick School at the age of fourteen to work in an insurance office, in 1943 began a short career as a showgirl, became a model and worked for several dress firms. After the war, in 1946 she bought a tea garden at Hampton with her mother and married an officer in the Merchant Navy, John Cook. She ran a pub in Essex before moving to Southern Rhodesia where she began painting. After a period in Zambia she moved to Cornwall and ran a boarding house at Plymouth Hoe, Devon, where she settled and which became the inspiration for many of her pictures. Plymouth Arts Centre exhibited her work in the mid 1970's after which her fame spread and further exhibitions the Whitechapel and Portal Galleries followed. The first book illustrating her paintings was published in 1978 and many more followed together. Her work has been published in numerous forms and has featured in BBC and Channel 4 television productions.
Collections: Tate Britain; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery; Plymouth Art Gallery; Durham Museum.