Beryl Cook (English artist)
Beryl Cook (1926-2008) was an English artist who found success with her comical style of painting.
Cook took up painting as an adult as she had no formal training. However she spent her early years at Kendrick Girls' Grammar School situated near her home in Reading, Berkshire, UK. She left school at age fourteen and proceeded to work in a number of jobs. She worked in the fashion industry in London where she moved and also showcased in the production of The Gypsy Princess. She got married to John Cook in 1948 and together got a son. In fact she started her career in painting while experimenting with her sons painting materials.
It is after returning to England that she began to paint seriously. It is at Plymouth that she continued to live with her family until her death in 2008. A smart artist on her own right, she will be remembered for her cheeky sense of humor and witty observation as well as the love of life.
Influence on other artists
Though a widely popular and celebrated artist, Beryl Cook never spawned a significant lasting school of followers. She was a particularly private person and could possibly have depicted her as unapproachable among potential students and admirers. However beryl was herself influenced by the likes of Stanley Spencer whose influence was instrumental in her compositions. She was also influenced by Edward Burra who painted nightclubs, sleazy cafes, prostitutes and sailors.
Famous works of beryl Cook
There exists a whole gallery of works that beryl cook did. Some of her earlier paintings even before she started exhibiting in 1975 included Hangover (1962); Football on Looe Beach (1966) and Ladies on the Watch Tower (1973). After she started exhibiting, she painted her other famous paintings such as Bangs Disco (1976). Tattoo parlour (1977); Granny the Footballer (1983) and the more recent ones like Royal Couple (2002) which depicted the queen of England holding a pet dog and was painted for the queen’s jubilee.
Beryl’s most expensive painting
Beryl cooks humorous art will always remain popular as ever. The public used to love and identify with her works. Her most expensive painting was Granny with Her Pet Mouse which was sold on 2nd July 2008 raising a record price of £69,600. Her other notable sale was that of The Dolphin which smashed a previous price of £28,800 to sell for £66,000.
Notable auction sales
The most notable auction was that of the Granny with Her Pet Mouse in Bonhams. The uniqueness of this particular sale was that it fetched more than double its original estimate going for a staggering price of £69,600.
Popularity with collectors
Beryl cook was one of the most popular British artists of her time. The public identified with and loved her art as it was both comical and hilarious. She was also equally popular among collectors who showcased her works to an excited public. Even the British broadcasting corporation aired a cartoon program that featured most of her comical art.