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Louise Cox

 (1865 - 1945)
Louise Howland King Cox was active/lived in California, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut / Italy.  Louise Cox is known for child portrait and florals painting, illustration, stained glass design.

Louise Cox

Biography from the Archives of askART

The following information was submitted in April of 2006 by Janet Potts:

Louise's maternal grandparents were William Stott and Mary Grinnell of Fairhaven, Massachusetts.  Their only child was Anna Theresa Stott, born in Fairhaven on October 1, 1843.  William Stott was a ship captain and made a number of voyages to the Sandwich Islands. He eventually took his family there and settled in Honolulu.

Louise Cox's paternal grandparents were George C. King and Sarah B. Day of Morristown, New Jersey.  They had several children; their son James Coursen King was born in Morristown ca. 1839.  Sarah died when James was five.

When age 18, James moved to California and became involved in some business ventures.  But after embezzling money from his partners he had to leave town and moved to Honolulu.  There he met and married Anna Stott in 1863.  James became involved in business with his father-in-law, but tried to cheat him as well.  They argued, and James shot the captain.  Stott survived and the charges were dropped, but Stott wrote his will so that his daughter Anna would only receive a limited amount as long as she remained married to James King, and would only receive the full amount if she became a widow.

James and Anna had three children: Coursen H. King, born in Honolulu in 1864; Louise Howland King, born June 30, 1865 in San Francisco; and Mary Allen "Polly" (later called Pauline) King, born 1867, also in San Francisco.

By 1870 the family had moved back east to New York City where James continued his business dealings and then decided to become a lawyer.  They moved to Turner's Station, NY, but the marriage was deteriorating, and Anna left James with the help of neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Anthony O'Neill.  Anna and James sued and counter-sued for divorce.  In November 1872, in the course of hearings on the custody of the children, O'Neill had testified on Anna's behalf.  As he left the judge's office, James C. King followed him out and shot him dead, in front Mrs. O'Neill and another witness.  James was immediately taken into custody.

During his trial in February and March of 1874, James was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.  He was pardoned by the governor in 1891 and released. 

In 1875, Anna King went to court in San Francisco and had herself legally declared a widow, since James was in prison for life.  In this way she was able to collect the full amount of the inheritance from her father.

Sometime in the 1870s Anna and her children apparently lived with her childhood friend, Caroline Perry, now Mrs. Benjamin Jones, in Belmont, Massachusetts.  Louise called the friend "Aunt Carrie" though they were not related.  Louise remained close to her through her life, visited her often, and even named her daughter after her.

In 1880 the three King children, Coursen, Louise and Polly, were living in boarding school in New Jersey.  The following year Louise was 16 and living in New York with her mother and sister and began to study art at the National Academy of Design.  Two years later she switched to the Art Students League.  Kenyon Cox later joined the staff there, which is how they met.  It was several years before they developed a relationship, but eventually they grew close and were married June 30, 1892 at the home of Caroline Jones in Massachusetts.

Louise gave birth to a stillborn girl in April 1893, but then had three healthy children: Leonard in July 1894, Allyn in June 1896, and Caroline in April 1898.  The family lived in New York City, with a summer home in Cornish, NH, where there was a well-known artist colony.

After Kenyon died, Louise lived in Italy and Hawaii, and finally settled in Mt. Kisco, NY, near her daughter in Chappaqua.  Louise died in a nursing home in Windham, Connecticut December 11, 1945. She was cremated, and her ashes were mingled with those of Kenyon Cox, and scattered in Cornish, NH.


Printed sources:

H. Wayne Morgan.  Kenyon Cox, 1856-1919: A Life in American Art
H. Wayne Morgan, editor.  An Artist in the American Renaissance: The
Letters of Kenyon Cox, 1883-1919

"The Infant Mariner" by Anna T. (Stott) King, in Old Time New England, the Bulletin of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Fall 1957 (memoir of voyage from Fairhaven to Honolulu when Anna was a child)

New York Times:
November 1872 for murder of Anthony O'Neill and background on James C. King February/March 1874 for trial of James C. King July 1891 pardon and release from prison

Hawaiian Gazette
April 8, 1898 for the last sight of James King in Canada, and summary of James' story

Primary sources:

U.S. Federal Census, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

Massachusetts State Census 1855

Vital Records:
Death of William Stott 1866 (took place in Honolulu but recorded in Massachusetts)
Marriage of Louise Howland King and Kenyon Cox 1892 (Massachusetts) Death of Anna T. King 1931 (New York) Death of "Pauline" King 1903 (New York) Death of Louise King Cox 1945 (Connecticut)

Gravestones at Riverside Cemetery, Fairhaven, Mass.
William Stott
Mary Allen King
Anna T. King

Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in San Francisco, Louise Cox went to Massachusetts and then New York City, where in 1881, she entered the National Academy of Design School.  She married artist Kenyon Cox on June 30, 1892.  She had studied with him at the National Academy of Design where she later became an Associate Member. T he couple established a summer home at Cornish, New Hampshire, and there she found a relaxed atmosphere in which to pursue her talents, which was the painting of florals and child figure subjects.

She exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1900, the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901, and the St. Louis Exposition in 1904.

Her husband's delicate health was an ongoing concern, and the couple was helped financially by Kenyon's brother who was a successful businessman, founder of The Cleveland Twist and Drill Company.  After her husband's death in 1919, she sold their home in Cornish and traveled in Europe where she bought and decorated a villa in Italy.  In 1929, she moved to Hawaii and later built a house in Chappaqua, New York to be near her daughter, Caroline Lansing.  Her son, Alyn Cox, became a famous muralist, doing much work in federal buildings in Washington DC.

Virginia Reed Colby and James B. Atkinson, Footprints of the Past.
Alma Gilbert-Smith, The Women of the Cornish Colony.

Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in San Francisco, CA on June 23, 1865. Louise King studied at the National Academy of Design and and the Art Students League  in New York City under Kenyon Cox whom she later married.  Her specialty was children's portraits.  She died at her home in Mount Kisco, New York on Dec. 11, 1945.

Exhibitions: National Academy of Design, 1896 (prize); Paris Expo, 1900 (bronze medal); San Francisco Art Association, 1913; Pan-Pacific International Exposition, 1915.
Her work is in the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1919, 1933; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41.

Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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About  Louise Cox

Born:  1865 - San Francisco, California
Died:   1945 - Windham, Connecticut
Known for:  child portrait and florals painting, illustration, stained glass design