Clarence Cook


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(1828–1900). Art writer. The first significant professional art critic in the United States, he wrote prolifically, pointedly, and perceptively about a wide range of topics concerning art and architecture. Born in Dorchester (now part of Boston), Clarence Chatham Cook moved as a child to New York but graduated from Harvard in 1849. His career began to flourish in the 1860s after he helped to found a Pre-Raphaelite organization, the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art, and edited its journal for a year. Beginning in 1864 he wrote regularly for the New York Daily Tribune for almost twenty years, while also contributing dozens of articles to leading periodicals. From 1884 until he retired some eight years later, he edited The Studio. He also wrote poetry. His most significant books include The House Beautiful: Essays on Beds and Tables, Stools and Candlesticks (1878), which supported goals of the aesthetic movement, and the three-volume Art and Artists of Our Time (1888). He died in Fishkill Landing (now part of Beacon), on the Hudson River north of New York, where he had lived in retirement.

From The Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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