Kenyon C. Cox (1856 - 1919)
Dedicated to Classical Realism, artist Kenyon C. Cox would speak out passionately against the coming of Modernism (writing cutting criticisms against the works displayed at the 1913 Armory Show) and be best known for his murals in such places as the Library of Congress and the Essex County Court House in New Jersey.
He had studied at the McMicken Institute of Arts and Design in Cincinnati, then headed to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but was not satisfied with the curriculum or teaching methods, and headed to Paris where he studied under Carolus-Duran. He enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and studied there with Jean Leon Gerome.
By 1882 he had returned to America, where he took work as an illustrator in New York City. He quickly established a good reputation for his work, and was able to begin contributing criticism to the "New York Evening Post" as well.
He was asked to contribute some mural work at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and he soon discovered an affinity for the style. Within only a few years he had been commissioned for work in Washington, D.C. and for work in several state capitol buildings.
Cox attained membership and recognition in the most prominent societies and associations of the day including the Society of American Artists, the National Academy of Design and was awarded a Medal of Honor by the Architectural League.
He continued to actively paint, write (art theory, criticism and poetry) and teach up until his death in 1919.
His works are in the collections of many major museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among many more.