With Portal Gallery, London, where acquired by the previous owner in 1997
Private Collection, U.K.
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We have built up a strong reputation for the quality of the paintings, drawings and sculpture that we curate, exhibit and sell. Our professional associations with bodies such as The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) and the Association of Art & Antique Dealers (LAPADA) are as a result of our reputation for integrity, our wide knowledge of fine arts and the high quality of our stock. Our business standards and expertise are reviewed regularly to adhere vigorously to enforced Codes. Our memberships and commitment to its Code of Conducts gives our buyers confidence when purchasing a work from us.
Condition reports and certificates of authenticity vary in their nature by artwork, for more information on your pieces of interest, please enquire with the gallery.
We take pride in the attention we give to our images of the artworks for purchase and invest in these to ensure outputs are aligned as closely as possible to the item in reality. We do not apply filters or modify images, we provide high-quality images to reflect the high quality of our artworks.
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Shipping and packaging
Shipping and packaging requirements are assessed per piece to ensure the most suitable protection for the artwork. Trinity House will therefore call following purchase to agree the recommendations and costs.
Our After Sales services
We offer the following services which we will be happy to discuss with you following your purchase, alternatively, you can enquire for more information.
We offer insurance appraisals to protect your prised artwork and help you find the right cover and policy for you.
We are able to advise on framing and have access to every type and style to suit any artistic period or room setting.
The nature of the materials involved in a painting mean that on occasion some pieces are susceptible to movement and the effects of natural ageing. We are able to provide advice on practical measures to conserve the original condition of a piece and have relationships with restorers and framers to offer you a range of services to meet your needs.
Julian Spalding (intro.), Beryl Cook, Happy Days, Victor Gollancz, London, 1995,
illustrated (as Rusty Car);
Joe Whitlock Blundell, Beryl Cook, The Bumper Edition, Victor Gollancz, London,
2000, illustrated p.82 (as Rusty Car).
Cook was born in 1926 in Surrey, England, one of four sisters. She left school at fourteen and worked in a variety of jobs. Moving to London in 1943 Beryl became a showgirl in a touring production of ‘The Gypsy Princess’. She also worked in the fashion industry, which inspired her life-long interest in the way people dress and how they look.
In 1946 Cook married her childhood friend John, who was in the Merchant Navy. When he retired, they briefly ran a pub. Their son John was born in 1950, and the following year they left to live in Southern Rhodesia. This move was to prove a turning point for the artist. One day she picked up some paints belonging to her son and started a picture. She enjoyed it so much she could not stop. She painted on any surface she could find, scraps of wood, fire screens and most notably a breadboard, as can be seen from her famous early painting of Bowling Ladies.
In 1963 the Cooks returned to England to live in Cornwall where Beryl began to paint in earnest. They moved to Plymouth, where in the summer months they ran a busy theatrical boarding house. Beryl loved Plymouth, a thriving, lively seaside town full of pubs, fishermen and sailors and she and John enjoyed going to their local bars and watching flamboyant drag acts. Beryl would concentrate on painting in the winter months, recreating her personal views of Plymouth in vivid oils on wooden panels. Eventually an antique dealer friend persuaded her to let him try and sell a few.
To her surprise he sold them very quickly. Bernard Samuels of the Plymouth Art Centre became aware of this ‘local phenomenon’ and in 1975 he finally convinced her to have an exhibition. It was an enormous success and the show received a great deal of publicity, which resulted in a cover and feature in the Sunday Times Magazine followed by a swift phone call from London’s Portal Gallery. The following year, Beryl Cook had her first London exhibition. It was a sell out and the start of an exceptional relationship with Portal, where she exhibited continuously for 32 years.
In 1995 Cook was made an OBE and numerous documentaries have been made about her including an animated film based around a series of her paintings. She has also had numerous retrospectives including at The Baltic in Gateshead in 2007 and The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery in 2011.
Her work can now be found in public and private collections worldwide including the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, and Plymouth City Art Gallery.