Colin Campbell Cooper USA
3-8-1856 Philadelphia, USA - 11-6-1937 Santa Barbara, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Colin Campbell Cooper, Jr. was born into a well-to-do family of English-Irish heritage. Young Colin had been inspired by the art which he discovered when he attended the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. Both of his parents were highly supportive of his ambitions, encouraging him to become an artist.
In 1879, Cooper enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, studying art under famed controversial realist painter Thomas Eakins for three years. In 1886 he embarked on the first of his many travels to foreign lands, visiting the Netherlands, Belgium, and Brittany. Afterwards, his art education resumed at the Académie Julian in Paris from 1886 to 1890, with Henri Lucien Doucet, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Jules Joseph Lefebvre. He also studied at Académie Delécluse and Académie Vitti. Colin Campbell Cooper work of this period consisted mostly of landscapes painted in a Barbizon manner. He traveled extensively throughout his life, sketching and painting scenes of Europe, Asia, and the United States in watercolors and oils.
He spent his summers abroad, primarily in the Dutch artists colony of Laren in North Holland and in Dordrecht in South Holland. Among the other artists in Dordrecht at this time was renowned painter Emma Lampert (1855–1920) from Rochester, New York. She and Cooper met, and were soon married, in Rochester on June 9, 1897.
In 1898, the Coopers returned to Europe for a few years. During this period, as Cooper painted architectural landmarks, he developed the Impressionist style which he used for the rest of his artistic career.
Cooper and his wife exhibited together in several two-person shows. They moved in 1904 to New York City, where he would remain, other than his many travels, until 1921. He said that the painting which first brought him great success was 1902's Broad Street, New York. In addition to New York City, his paintings often depict skyscrapers in Philadelphia and Chicago.
Colin Campbell Cooper's painting Fifth Avenue, New York was purchased by the French government for the Musée du Luxembourg. Such an honor was quite rare for an American artist.
He and his wife were aboard the RMS Carpathia during its rescue mission for the survivors from the sunken RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. Colin Campbell Cooper assisted in the effort, and during the rescue operation, he created several paintings which document the events. The Coopers gave up their ship's cabin so some of the survivors would have berths to sleep in.
He also participated in the Panama–California Exposition in San Diego in 1916. The Coopers spent the winter of 1915–16 in Los Angeles. This time in southern California was undoubtedly a key factor in Cooper's later decision to move there permanently. His wife Emma died of tuberculosis on July 30, 1920.
After his wife's death, Cooper moved to Santa Barbara, California in January 1921. Santa Barbara would be his home base for the rest of his life, spending two years in northern Europe and Tunisia.
Influences: Henri Lucien Doucet, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Jules Joseph Lefebvre
Traveled: Netherlands, Belgium, France, Tunisia, Italy, Switzerland, USA