Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856. His father was a wealthy physician and recognizing his son's artistic talent, encouraged him to become an artist. In 1876 Colin Cooper attended the Philadelphia Exposition and was inspired by the art he saw there. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins and in Paris at the Academies Julian; Vitti, and Delecluse. Colin Campbell Cooper spent considerable time in Europe painting figure and architectural subjects but unfortunately many of these paintings were lost to fire in 1896.
Colin Campbell Cooper (also known by his signature as C. C. Cooper) resided on both the East and West coasts and became a prominent American Impressionist artist through his masterful paintings of landscapes, florals, portraits, gardens, interiors and figures. He is especially noted for his street scenes and skyscrapers in New York and Philadelphia. In the 1890s, the artist met Frederick Childe Hassam in New York and was influenced by Hassam's impressionist style and the delicate handling and atmospheric qualities conveyed by Hassam's canvases.
From 1895 to 1898, Colin Campbell Cooper was instructor of watercolor at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. He then moved to New York City from where he and his artist wife, Emma Lampert, traveled throughout the world in search of subject matter. One art critic wrote: "Colin Campbell Cooper recently returned from the Far East and has exhibited Indian paintings in New York. Among his architectural works which are said to possess such charm as to make them dreams of beauty are: Taj Mahal, Agra, White Mosque, Bombey, and Maharajah's Palace, Udaipor (Venice of India)".
The Coopers' first trip to California was in 1915 and they spent most of the winter in Los Angeles. In 1921 they settled in Santa Barbara and Colin Campbell Cooper served as the Dean of Painting at the Santa Barbara Community School of Arts. In his later years, Colin Campbell Cooper focused on West Coast subject matter and espoused "The California Style" of watercolor painting. This style of watercolor painting employed a bold, aggressive look - more like an oil-painting. He painted extensively in Santa Barbara but also painted in Taos, New Mexico and in Arizona including the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.
Colin Campbell Cooper Awards
1895 Bronze Medal, Atlanta Exposition
1903 W.T. Evans Prize, American Water Color Society
1904 Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
1904 Seinan Prize, Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts
1904 Commemorative Medal as Member of the International Jury of Awards, St. Louis World's Fair
1905 Gold Medal, Art Club of Philadelphia
1908 Elected Associate, National Academy of Design
1910 Bronze Medal, State Fair, Dallas, TX
1910 International Fine Arts Exposition, Buenos Aires
1911 Beal Prize, New York Water Color Club
1912 Elected Member, National Academy of Design
1915 Gold Medal (oil), Panama-Pacific International Exposition
1915 Silver Medal (watercolor), Panama-Pacific International Exposition
1918 Hudnut Prize, New York Color Club
1918-1919 Walter Lippincott Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
1930 Honorable Mention, San Diego Fine Arts Gallery
1931 Honorable Mention, Sixth Annual Southern California Art Exhibition
Colin Campbell Cooper Memberships
American Water Color Society, New York, NY
Art Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Bernard Club, New York, NY
California Art Club, Pasadena, CA
International Jury of Awards at the St. Louis World's Fair, St. Louis, MO
Lotos Club, New York, NY
National Academy of Design, New York, NY
Salamagundi Club, New York, NY