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 Lenore Doster Cooke  (1871 - 1919)

About: Lenore Doster Cooke
 

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Lived/Active: Kansas/New York/California      Known for: Portrait, figure and still life painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
Lenore (Cooke) Doster
An example of work by Lenore Doster Cooke
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Lenore Doster, later Lenore Doster Cooke and daughter of Frank Doster and Caroline Doster, was born May 12, 1871 in Marion, Kansas.  She grew up in the Flint hills of Kansas.

Her mother was an artist as was noted in the 1880 census records.  Caroline’s father was Jackson Riddle, who was a Civil War photographer.

Frank Doster was born in Winchester, VA and later served as a private in the Union Army, 11th Cavalry.  It is thought during this time frame he met William Merritt Chase, and they became friends.  Lenore’s brother, born in 1872, was named Chase. 

Her father went on to become the Chief Supreme Court Justice of Kansas, and the family moved to Topeka.  He served from 1896-1902, and was regarded as the last of the important leaders of Kansas populism.  He died in 1933.

Lenore went to New York City to study with William Merritt Chase during the late 1890’s.  She taught watercolor painting at the New York School of Art, directed by Chase and in the Masters in Art Vol. 7-9 page 383, Lenore is noted as a teacher in 1906 along with William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri.  She specialized in portraits.  She also was assistant in the department of normal training and design, which prepared students to become public school teachers.  In those days, a proper lady did not sell her work, so she did not market her own paintings.

Lenore married Harry L. Cooke on September 25, 1899.  He died in 1904 in Chattanooga TN.  In 1907, she returned to Topeka from New York City, saying that "she would rather identify herself with the art of her own State and the West as it is far more attractive to her than life in the East and the field is broader." (Topeka Daily).

She suffered from weak lungs and passed away at Pasadena, California on November 14, 1919, aged only 48.

Her work includes:

A pen and ink sketch done in 1897, it is of Broadway actor, “Fred Thorne”.

Her watercolors are:
Butter Churning
Mums 1898
Girl with the Violin 1898


Her works are scattered and just being recognized.

Sources include:
Michael J. Brodhead, Persevering Populist: The Life of Frank Doster, 1969

Topeka Daily Capital
, September 8, 1907, "A Kansas Artist Who Prefers To Work in her Native State.", Courtesy of Joyce Shupe

Vol I, Kansas a cyclopedia of state history, Skyways.lib.ks.us

Doster Genealogy
, Ben Hill Doster, Richmond VA, William Byrd Press, 1945

Masters in Art Vol. 7-9 page


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