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 Paul Rodda Cook  (1897 - 1972)

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Lived/Active: Texas/Kansas / Mexico      Known for: painter-landscape, floral still life, portrait

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Paul Rodda Cook
An example of work by Paul Rodda Cook
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Paul Rodda Cook, 1897-1972, a muralist, and painter of portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, was born in Salinas, Kansas.  His family moved to Uvalde, Texas when he was 7 years old.  It took some time for Cook to realize that he wanted to be an artist. He first studied law at the University of Texas, Austin, leaving school for Massachusetts, where he took a job, obviously marking time, in sales for a tanning company.  He was saved by an illness that sent him back to San Antonio, where he began his art studies with Hugo David Pohl, then to Taos, New Mexico, with well-known artists Walter Ufer and Leon Gaspard.  When Cook began his art studies, he did so with a fixity of purpose, continuing in Boston with Hermann Dudley Murphy, and in Woodstock, New York, with Charles Rosen, Lowell Birge Harrison, and Henry Lee McFee.

Cook moved to Boerne, Texas, near San Antonio, from 1928 until the early 1940s, then to Taxco de Alarcon, Mexico.  From 1949-1971, he lived in Houston, then moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Cook died in a Mexico City hospital, and was brought back to the United States for burial in Houston.

Cook was a member of the San Antonio Art League; Southern States Art League; Villita Street Gallery, San Antonio; American Artists Professional League; and New York Watercolor Society.

His work may be found in the collections of the South Texas Institute for the Arts, Corpus Christi; Stark Museum of Art, Orange; Groos National Bank, and Witte Museum, San Antonio; San Antonio Art League; Carnegie Library, Waco; and John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, Chicago.

Paul Rodda Cook's exhibitions include:

Texas Artists Exhibition, San Antonio Art League (1926);
Annual Texas Artists Exhibition, Fort Worth (1927-28, 1930, 1933, 1936-37);
Edgar B. Davis Competition, San Antonio (1927-28, 1929 honorable mention);
Annual Texas Cotton Palace Exposition, Waco (1929 prize, 1930);
Lockhart State Fair (1929 prize);
Annual Exhibition of the State Fair of Texas, Dallas (1929, 1939);
San Angelo (1929 prize);
Southern States Art League Annual Exhibition (1929, 1938, 1940);
San Pedro Playhouse, San Antonio (1931 one-man);
Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio (1935 one-man, 1950);
San Antonio Local Artists Annual Exhibition (1935, 1937-38, 1940, 1948);
Bright Shawl Gallery, San Antonio (1936 one-man);
Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas (1936);
National Exhibition of American Art, Rockefeller Center, New York (1936-38);
Texas Fine Arts Association Exhibition (1936, 1938); Annual Southeast Texas Artists Exhibition, Houston (1937 honorable mention, 1939);
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1937 with Caroline Durieux and Boyer Gonzales, Jr.); Texas General Exhibition, (1940 special mention);
Texas-Oklahoma General Exhibition (1941);
San Antonio Art League (1947);
River Art Group, San Antonio (1948);
Texas Seen/Texas Made, San Antonio Museum of Art (1986);
Special Christmas Exhibition, Witte Museum, San Antonio (1989);
Hock Shop Collection: Rediscovering Texas Artists of the Past, Center for the Visual Arts, Denton (1998).

John and Deborah Powers, Texas Painters, Sculptors, and Graphic Artists

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Texas Centennial Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Art, 1936.
Southern States Art League; San Antonio Art League; American Artists’ Professional League.

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born Salina, Aug. 17, 1897; died Mexico City, Mexico, 1972. Painter, portraits, landscapes, still-lifes. Muralist. Pupil of Hugo David Pohl; Birge Harrison; H. D. Murphy. Began painting seriously ca. 1925, by 1929 was winning prizes. Landscape subjects are primarily of the region around San Antonio, TX. Murals in San Antonio public buildings.
Honorable mention, Witte Museum, 1928.

John H. Vanderpoel Memorial Collection, Chicago, IL; Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio; Carnegie Library, San Antonio.

Southern States Art League; San Antonio Art League; American Artists’ Professional League.

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Dawdy 2: Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Volume 2. Chicago: Swallow Press, 1981.; Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47. 1; AskArt,, accessed Sept. 2, 2005
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from Fine Arts Of Texas, Inc.:
The following biography was researched and written by Richard Plumly, Fine Arts of Texas, Inc., San Antonio, Texas

Born in Salina, Kansas Paul Rodda Cook (1897-1972) became a noted landscape painter of Texas, also painting still lifes & florals in oil and watercolor.

Cook began his art studies in San Antonio, Texas with Hugo David Pohl (1878-1960) who had a studio in Brackenridge Park. He then went to Taos, New Mexico and studied under Walter Ufer (1876-1936) and Leon Gaspard (1882-1964). He later studied in Boston with H. Dudley Murphy (1867-1915) and in Woodstock, New York under Henry McFee (1886-1953), and Charles Rosen (1878-1950).

Cook had a successful career and exhibited regularly, winning honorable mention in 1928 at the prestigious Edgar B. Davis national competition at the Witte Museum in San Antonio. He additionally exhibited at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition at the Dallas Museum of Art, as well as in New York, Arizona, Missouri and New Mexico.

Cook’s works are found in numerous public and private collections.

Biography from ARTexas:
A knee injury ended Cook's promising athletic career at the University of Texas.  Born at Uvalde, Cook studied with Hugo Pohl, with Walter Ufer and Leon Gaspard at Taos, New Mexico, and with Hermann Dudley Murphy in New York. 

A member of the Southern States Art League, San Antonio Art League, the American Artists Professional League, and the New York Watercolor Society, he began exhibiting as early as 1927. Cook exhibited in the San Antonio Competitive and the Texas Centennial and his work is held by the Witte Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

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Paul Cook is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Taos Pre 1940

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