Gallery Artists > Gordon Cope Biography :

Gordon Cope (1906 - 1999)  Artworks >>

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Gordon Cope became a portrait and landscape painter and teacher in Utah and later in California. Much of his reputation was linked to the pre-World War II WPA program, which boosted the careers of many 'starving' artists. In Utah, he studied with A.B. Wright, 1916 to 1923; La Conte Stewart; and in Arizona, 1923-1924, with Lawrence Squires. From 1924 to 1928, he traveled in Europe where he studied the Old Masters in museums in England, France Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and Holland. He spent the last year, 1928, as a student at the Julian Academy in Paris. Returning to Utah, he became head of the art department in 1931 at Latter Day Saints University and also held other teaching positions in Utah including with the Mountain School of Art and the Art Barn School, which he served as Director. He did numerous portraits of Utah notables. During the Depression years of the 1930s, he was one of the original ten artists with the Utah Public Works of Art Project. His special assignment was "sculpture and sketches of early Indian life." (Swanson, 127). He was also involved in the state's Public Art Project, administered by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and that entities' major accomplishment was the completion of murals for the Utah State Capitol. One of the artists, Dan Burke, recalled that at the end of this project, after the murals were mounted, "it was discovered that a painting stained cloth had been left on a shelf at the base of the dome. Cope armed with a long fishing rod, spent the greater part of a day at casting before the undecorative object was landed." (Swanson, 127) In California, Cope apparently had great success for his "vigorous impressionistic realism. His Sierra Snow Scene, painted when he was seventy-two years old, has a scale, boldness and subtlety usually lost by older artists." (Swanson, 182) Source

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