Howard Cook (1901-1980)
Howard Cook was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Showing talent in art from an early age, he was awarded a scholarship that allowed him to study at the Art Students League in New York City. After two years he went abroad to Europe, sketching and writing for publication. He returned to the U.S. and began focusing on print-making, primarily etching and woodcut. By 1922, he was receiving work from important magazines. When he was commissioned to illustrate Willa Cather's "Death Comes for the Archbishop," he decided to travel West to see the setting for the book.
He stayed in Santa Fe for a short time, but soon moved to Taos. It was in Taos that he met Barbara Latham, a fellow artist, whom he married. The couple traveled widely and then eventually settled back in the Northern New Mexico region. Cook pursued his print-making and lithography work, inspired by the landscape and Native American cultural activities. He became a master at the techniques of etching, aquatinting, woodcut and lithography, and as a result built a national reputation for his works.
One notable show,a traveling exhibition of his pastels, was organized by the de Young Museum in San Franciso and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Cook later turned to painting, including mural work, oil, watercolor and pastel. In 1963 the artist was awarded the S.F. B. Morse Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design - a lifetime achievement award in art. In the 1950s and '60s, Cook's works were featured in many one-man exhibitions across the U.S. His works continue to hold a high place in American arts. After the artist's death the Metropolitan Museum of Art featured his works in an exhibition as did the Smitshonian American Art Museum with a major exhibition of the Cook's prints in 1984.