COLIN CAMPBELL COOPER
American / New York / California (1856-1937)
"NEW YORK CITY SCENE"
Oil on Board
Signed l.r. CCC, with initials CCC and stamp verso: “The Colin Campbell Cooper Collection”
Museums: 22, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, The White House,
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Irvine Museum
The New York Times wrote in 1911 that “first and foremost in enthusiasm for the modern New York
of today, the city of towering skyscrapers and fevered street traffic, is Colin Campbell Cooper, who
may be considered the skyscraper artist par excellence of America…” Cooper was one of the first
painters to use skyscrapers as an integral part of his subject matter.
Cooper studied under Thomas Eakins at the Philadelphia Academy, and in Paris at the Academie Julian (with
Bouguereau and Lefebvre), and at at the Academies Viti, and Delecluse. He was known for both his oils
and watercolors - the watercolor being handled as oil would have been, and the technique becoming known
as the “California Style” of watercolor painting. In Europe, he did a great number of figural and architectural
paintings – some of the latter described as possessing “such charm as to make them dreams of beauty”.
Unfortunately, many of these paintings were lost to fire in 1896.
In 1902, he turned his love of architecture to the New York City skyscraper, in which he saw charm where others
saw monstrosities. Several years ago, I saw the traveling exhibit of these “monolith” paintings. They had simultaneously
a great power and intimacy that did not communicate to me until standing in front of them. Since that time, I have
sought to purchase a small and good example of one of these architectural paintings. We are pleased to present this
twilight scene – probably an early view of Columbus Circle and Monument in New York City, the Circle being
completed in 1905. This scene is now history, as the Circle has recently been completely renovated.
In 1921, Cooper moved permanently to Santa Barbara, California, becoming one of the most important early Southern
California painters. His very colorful garden painting, "The Pergola at the Samarkand Hotel, Santa Barbara" graces the
cover of All Things Bright and Beautiful, California Impressionist Paintings from The Irvine Museum (Gerdts, 1998).
Columbus Circle and Monument, 1907, with the Majestic Theater on the left
Verso with initials and stamp
Birth place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 8,1856
Death place: Santa Barbara, California, November 6,1937
Addresses: New York City; Santa Barbara California
Studied: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins (1879); Academie Julian with
Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and William Bouguereau (1889); Academie Delecluse
Exhibited: Atlanta Expo, 1895 (bronze medal); American Water Color Society, 1903 (Evans Award);
St. Louis World Expo, 1904 (medal); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1904 (gold Medal), 1919 (prize);
Philadelphia Art Club, 1905 (gold medal); Buenos Aires Expo, 1910 (silver medal);
New York Water Club, 1911 (Beal prize); Panama Pacific International, 1915 (gold and silver medals).
Member: California Art Club; American Watercolor Society; American Federation of Arts; New York Society Painters;
Salmagundi Club; New York Watercolor Club; Santa Barbara Art Club, Associate of the National Academy of Design, 1908;
Member of the National Academy of Design, 1912; Lotus Club; National Arts Club, New York; San Diego Art Guild;
Philadelphia Water Color Club.
Work: Luxembourg Museum, Paris; Cincinnati Art Museum; Boston Art Club; St. Louis Museum; Cincinnati Museum;
Dallas Art Association; National Arts Club, New York; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Memorial Art Gallery,
Rochester, New York; Oakland Museum (Palace of Fine Arts); Lotus Club, New
York; San Diego Museum.
Cincinnati Art Museum
Crocker Art Museum
Dallas Museum of Art
Lowe Art Museum
Memorial Art Gallery
Metropolitan Museum of Art
National Arts Club
New York Historical Society
Oakland Museum of California
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Philadelphia Sketch Club
Reading Public Museum
San Antonio Art League Museum
San Diego Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
The Carnegie Art Museum
The Irvine Museum
The Saint Louis Art Museum
The University of Michigan Museum of Art
The White House
Westmoreland Museum of American
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