The following biography was written by his great-granddaughter Joan Collier Philip, and submitted in July of 2006 by Ilene Skeen, Curator, Salmagundi Club, New York City:
Cowles Myles Collier was born in 1836 in Hampton, Virginia. His father's riverfront estate provided the first views of water and fishing boats that played such a huge part in his artistic vision.
The Collier family had settled in Virginia before the 18th century and Cowles Myles' grandfather was linked by marriage to Chief Justice Marshall. His privileged background gave him the leisure time to develop a painting style that was already well established before he was out of his teens. A canvas painted around 1856 was sold in 1993
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