Colin Campbell Cooper’s (1858-1937) career is defined by two periods: his education and maturity as an East Coast artist, and his relocation, in later years to the West Coast. Whether painting in the East or West, Cooper was lauded and heralded as a significant Impressionist artist who captured the spirit of his surroundings. Cooper visited Southern California in 1916, spending a month in San Diego. He relocated to California 1921 (and remained until his death), becoming dean of painting at the Santa Barbara Community School of Arts. Not surprisingly, West Coast architecture fascinated him—particularly the dominant Spanish and Mexican influence—but he was also inspired by the variety of Western flora; especially the lush gardens overflowing with unique species of plants. While Cooper assumed a leading role in Santa Barbara’s art community, he never lost his ties to the East, concurrently maintaining a studio in New York City for many years.
The Cooper exhibition was co-curated by Dr. William H. Gerdts and Dr. Deborah Epstein Solon. Dr. Gerdts concentrated on the artist’s work on the East Coast, and Dr. Solon explored his career in California. The exhibition included approximately fifty works and was accompanied by a major catalog by Dr. Gerdts and Dr. Solon, published by Hudson Hills Press, New York.
The exhibition traveled to The Hecksher Museum of Art in Huntington, New York from November 11, 2006 to January 28, 2007.
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