John Rogers Cox (1915 - 1990)
Oil on canvas
18 x 26 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: John Rogers Cox / 47
Art Market, Florida, 2006
Born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana, John Rogers Cox began to draw at the age of five. Though he was a poor student through high school, Cox exhibited a strong interest in art and after graduation enrolled in a BFA program conducted jointly by the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
He received his degree in 1938. He returned to Terre Haute to work as a bank teller but was soon appointed the first director of the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, a position he held from 1941 to 1943. Under his direction, the gallery assembled one of the premier collections of American regionalist art.
In 1942, Cox's painting "Grey and Gold" won the Second Medal in the Artists for Victory exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two years later the same painting received the Popular Prize in the exhibition "Painting in the United States, 1944", held at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. This painting now resides in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art.
In 1948 Cox joined the faculty of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He taught and painted in Chicago for almost two decades thereafter. Cox was an artist of modest production. His works, however, were included in many of the nation's most important annual survey exhibitions during the 1940s and '50s, including those at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Remembered as one of America's most original Magic Realist landscape painters, John Rogers Cox died in 1990. His works are held at the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Indiana; The Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio; and Museum of Fine Art, Springfield, Massachusetts.