Alice May Cook (nee Barnett), 1876-1958, Book Illustrator and Miniature Artist

Alice M(ay) Cook (1876-1958) was a painter, a miniature painter and book illustrator, especially of children’s books, who also worked under her maiden name, Alice May Barnett.   She studied at St John’s Wood School of Art and at the Royal Academy schools. Her works were exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, the Society of Women Artists, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, The Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin and in Canada and South Africa.  She lived in Spixworth in Norfolk.[i]

Illustration from Our Allies Story Book by Alice M Cooke

Illustration from Our Allies Story Book by Alice M Cooke

The Renier Collection, now held at the V&A in London, contains four watercolours by Alice M Cook, which were drawn for an Ernest Nister publication:[ii]

  1. Boy Playing a Pipe, watercolour on card, published by Ernest Nister, c.1910
  2. Boy in Breaking Ice, watercolour on card, published by Ernest Nister, c.1910
  3. Three Dolls, watercolour on card, published by Ernest Nister, c.1910
  4. Simple Simon, watercolour on card, published by Ernest Nister, c.1910

The images in the gallery below, illustrations by Alice M Cook for ABC ([London]: T. Nelson & Sons, [1910], were taken by Helen at Living, Libraries and [Dead] Languages and are reproduced here with her kind permission.

 

Titles Alice M Cook is known to have illustrated:

  1. The Holiday Picture Book (London: Ernest Nister, [1908]) with Stuart Hardy (Source: BL)
  2. Peggy’s Travels by Walter Cook (London: Blackie & Son [1908]) (Source: BL)
  3. ABC ([London]: T. Nelson & Sons, [1910]) (Source: BL)
  4. Busy Little People all the World Over…by Walter Cook (London: Blackie & Son, [1911(Source: BL)
  5. A Frog He Would A-wooing Go (London: Nelson [1911]) (Source: BL)
  6. Our Allies Story Book: Takes of Adventure in France, Belgium, Russia, Serbia, Japan &c (London; Glasgow; Bombay: Blackie & Son Limited, [1918]) with H M Brock (Source: BL)
  7. Pussy Cat Rhymes (London: Nelson, [1920]) (Source: BL)

I’ve put together a (very little) PinInterest Board, Alice May Cook (nee Barnett), Book Illustrator and Artist, where you can see a small collection of images of her work.

Alice M Cook's Cover for Our Allies Story Book [1918]

Alice M Cook’s Cover for Our Allies Story Book [1918]

These are very preliminary notes on Alice May Cook.  Please comment away to add more information if you can, or pointers to sources.


 

[i] Buckman, David Artists in Britain Since 1945, (London: Art Dictionaries Ltd, 2006)

[ii] Ernest Nister (1842-1909) had a lithographic workshop in Nürnberg, Germany which printed books for the London market. He became a publisher in his own right in 1888 with offices at 24 St. Bride Street, London. Nister originally specialised in high quality colour printing for children, adding movable books with various mechanisms from 1890 onwards when be published his first stand-up book.  Nister also published numerous picture books, annuals, poetry, nursery rhymes, calendars and greetings cards.

 

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