Howard Norton Cook
Born(1901-07-16)July 16, 1901
DiedJune 24, 1980(1980-06-24) (aged 78)
EducationAndrew Dasburg
Maurice Sterne
Alma materArt Students League of New York
Known forPrintmaking, watercolors, frescos
Styleexpressionistic, abstract, realistic
Spouse(s)Barbara Latham
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowships in 1932, 1934
Detail of The Importance of San Antonio in Texas History by Howard Cook
Detail of The Importance of San Antonio in Texas History by Howard Cook

Howard Norton Cook (1901–1980) was an American artist, particularly known for his wood engravings[1] and murals. Cook spent much of the 1920s in Europe and returned to live in Taos, New Mexico.[1]

Cook first came to Taos, New Mexico in 1926 commissioned by The Forum to make a series of woodcuts to illustrate Death Comes for the Archbishop that would be published serially in the periodical.[2] In Taos he was introduced to artist Barbara Latham by Victor Higgins. The couple married in May 1927. From 1928 to 1935, they traveled: to Europe, Mexico and the American South. Working for New Deal art projects, Cook produced murals for courthouses in Pittsburgh (Section of Painting and Sculpture)[3] and Springfield, Massachusetts (Public Works of Art Project).[4][5] He also produced a 16-panel fresco, The Importance of San Antonio in Texas History, in a San Antonio post office, for which he was paid $12,000 in 1937.[6] In 1938, the couple settled near Taos on the Talpa ridge. This became their base until 1976.[7] During World War II, Cook was an artist for the US Navy.[8] In 1943 he was appointed Leader of a War Art Unit and served in the Solomon Islands in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.[9]

In 1967, Cook became the first artist in the Roswell Museum and Art Center's Artist-in-Residence program. The couple started to spend their winters in Roswell, New Mexico, where they eventually moved in 1973. Due to Cook's ill health, the couple moved to Santa Fe in 1976. Cook died in 1980.[7]

Public collections


  1. ^ a b Becker, p.56.
  2. ^ Zigrosser, Carl (1952). New Mexico Artists. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 122.
  3. ^ "Howard Norton Cook". Living New Deal. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Morrison, Richard C. (1938). Federal Art in New England 1933–1937. Federal Art Project. p. 17. OCLC 8689852.
  5. ^ Porter, Dean (1999). Taos Artists and Their Patrons 1898-1950. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico. p. 368. ISBN 0826321097.
  6. ^ Harwood, p.37.
  7. ^ a b Ebie, Teresa H. "Remarkable Women of Taos New Mexico: Barbara Latham". Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Falk, Peter (1999). Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975 400 Years of Artists in America. Madison, CT: Sound View Press. p. 719. ISBN 0932087558.
  9. ^ Howard Cook. Roswell, New Mexico: Roswell Museum and Art Center. 1965.