Eleanor Beryl Cook, born 1926 in Epsom, Surrey. One of four sisters, Beryl was raised in Reading, Berkshire where she attended Kendrick School. After leaving school at the age of 14 she went on to have a variety of jobs in Berkshire and London.
In 1946 Beryl Cook married and had a son with her childhood friend and member of the Merchant Navy, John Cook. It was when showing him how to paint that she herself quite liked the thought of being an artist. Beryl Cook continued using various materials; painting on scraps of wood, fire screens and a breadboard! One of her early paintings is titled ‘Bowling Ladies’.
Bernard Samuels of the Plymouth Art Centre noticed Beryl Cook's success. Samuels offered Cook the chance to exhibit her work in 1975 which sold out and resulted in a Sunday Times Magazine cover feature. Exhibitions in London soon followed at the Whitechapel and Portal Galleries.
As well as receiving popular acclaim, Beryl Cook's work has also found critical appreciation, the highlight being the inclusion of her work in the fifth Peter Moores exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Her work was seen alongside that of Bridges Riley, Victor Passmore and Stanley Spencer in the context of mainstream contemporary art.
Artwork by Beryl Cook can be found on display in Plymouth, Durham and Glasgow art galleries. Some of her original work has also been purchased by the New Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, cementing her legacy as a British Artist.
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