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 Polly Cox  (1921 - 2005)

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: still life, market scene

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Polly Cox
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Polly Hoffman Cox was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1921, the daughter of Luther Hoffman, an attorney.  Her mother, also a painter, gave Polly her nick-name.  Polly Cox received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1942 from Newcomb College (Tulane University) and spent a year of graduate study there before marrying Aubrey Cox, who had been a medical student at Tulane.  He served in the Navy during the war.  After World War II ended, the couple settled in Wichita Falls, Texas, where Aubrey began a medical practice.

Cox continued studying her craft throughout her life.  She spent the summer of 1975 at the Louisiana Tech University, summer school, Rome, Italy.  She attended classes at Midwestern State University in ceramics, printmaking, drawing, painting and papermaking from 1970 to 1995 and refined her technique by participating in classes and workshops with a number of well-known painters.  Her extensive travel to study and paint included England, France, Switzerland, Italy, China, Russia, Japan, Mexico and Guatemala.  She was a signature member of the Southwest Watercolor Society (1979) and the Texas Watercolor Society (1995).  She was a member and several times president of the Wichita Falls Art Association and was subsequently named an Outstanding Woman in the arts and made an honorary lifetime member.  In 1991, Polly received a full scholarship to attend a Master Class, Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico and in 1995 became a member of the prestigious Purple Sage Brush Society of the Texas Watercolor Society.

Cox’s art was published in SCENE, a Publication of Southwest Watercolor Society in 1977 in an article “Spotlight on the Artist,” Dallas, Texas.  She was the object of the cover and feature story in the July 1980 Wichita Falls Magazine, Publication of Times Record News.  A book, Wichita Falls in Watercolor, published by the Wichita County Heritage Society in 1982, featured her detailed paintings of significant local historic homes and other buildings.

Polly had one person shows at the Woman’s Forum, (1969), Treasure Cove Gallery (1977), Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center (1980 and 1997), North Texas Federal and Savings and Loan Gallery, (1988).  She planned an exhibition at the Kemp Center for the Arts for April 2005. The show was hung posthumously.

The diversity of her work ranges from ceramics, painting and award winning watercolors to designing, painting and constructing costumes for the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre and creating a mural, Peaceable Kingdom, for the Wichita Falls City County Health Department’s new Women, Infants and Children wing.  Her work includes various painting media over the years, but her later work focused on either watercolor or layers of transparent oil colors.  Many of the pieces are still life paintings or landscapes based on drawings from her travel sketchbooks.

Solo Exhibitions:
2005    Kemp Center for the Arts, Wichita Falls, TX
    Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, original paintings for Wichita Falls in Watercolor book
1997    Wichita Falls, Museum and Art Center, Wichita Falls, TX
1995    Carnegie Library Town Hall, Lawton, OK
1991    University Club, Sponsored by Wichita Falls Art Association, Wichita Falls, TX
1988    North Texas Federal Savings and Loan Gallery, Sponsored by Wichita Falls Art Association, Wichita Falls, TX
1987    Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, Original paintings for the book, Wichita Falls in Watercolor, Wichita Falls, TX
1986    University Club, Wichita Falls, TX
1980    Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, “Retrospective,” Wichita Falls, TX
1977    Treasure Cove Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX
    North Texas Federal Savings and Loan, Building opening, Original paintings for Wichita Falls in Watercolor, book published by Wichita Country Heritage Society
1969    Woman’s Forum, Retrospective exhibit, Sponsored by Wichita Falls Art Association, Wichita Falls, TX

Group Invitational Exhibitions:
2000-    Floral Heights Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX
2004
1995    Two Person Show, Wichita Falls Art Association, Woman’s Forum Gallery, Wichita Falls,
1993    For Members Only, Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX
    Southwestern Watercolor Society Signature Members Show, Trammel Crow Center, Dallas, TX, Award
1988    Southwestern Watercolor Society Signature Members Show, Bell Plaza Gallery, Dallas, TX
1987    Five Person Show, Brook Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX
1984    “Texas Talent,” Brook Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX
1980    Four Person Show, Sponsored by Wichita Falls, Art Association, North Texas Federal Savings and Loan Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX
1978    “Branches,” an exhibit of Polly Cox and her three daughters, Woman’s Forum, Wichita Falls, TX

Selected Juried Exhibiitons:
1995    Akron Society of Artists, Sheraton Suites Hotel, Akron, OH
    Midwestern State University Student Exhibition, Best of Show
    West Texas Watercolor Artists, Carillon Gallery, Tarrant County Junior College, Ft. Worth, TX, Carillon Gallery Award, First award
1994    “Texas and Neighbors,” Irving Art Center, Irving, TX, two paintings
1994,     Midwestern State University Student
1993    Exhibition, University Art Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX
    Watercolor USA, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO
    Wichita Falls Art Association, Woman’s Forum, Wichita Falls, TX
    West Texas Watercolor Society, Texas Tech University Museum, Lubbock, TX
    Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts Alumna Art Exhibit, Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM
    Southwestern Watercolor Society, North Park Center, Dallas, TX, Merit Award
1993    Oklahoma Art Workshops, Oklahoma Art Works, Tulsa, OK
1988    Texas Watercolor Society, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX
1985    Texas Watercolor Society, McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX
    National Watercolor Oklahoma, Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City, OK
    Southwestern Watercolor Society, Visual Arts Center, Dallas, TX
1982    Texas Fine Arts Association Regional, Austin, TX, Citation Award and State Circuit
1980    Southwestern Watercolor Society, Brookhaven College, Farmers Branch, TX
    Texas Fine Arts Association Regional, Austin, TX, Citation Award and State Circuit
1979    Southwestern Watercolor Society, Northpark, Dallas, TX
    Texas Fine Arts Association Regional, Austin, TX, Citation Award and State Circuit
1977    Texas Fine Arts Association Regional, Austin, TX, Citation Award and State Circuit
    West Texas Watercolor Society, Museum of Texas Tech, Lubbock. TX, Purchase Prize

Selected Collections:
Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center, Wichita Falls, TX
National Archives, Washington, D.C.
First Christian Church, Wichita Falls, TX
Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX
City Health Department, Wichita Falls, TX

Submitted by Stephanie A. Reeves


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