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  • Arty Facts
  • 1926 Beryl Frances Lansley, born in Egham, Surry. 1930 her parents separate, she moved to Reading with her mother and three sisters. Where she later a...
  • 1926

    Beryl Frances Lansley, born in Egham, Surry.

  • 1930

    her parents separate, she moved to Reading with her mother and three sisters. Where she later attends Kendrick Girls School.

  • 1941

    left school to take shorthand and typing course.

  • 1944

    she moves with her family to London. Where she finds work as a model and then a showgirl.

  • 1947

    the family move to a house with a tea garden by the river in Hampden.

  • 1948

    married John Cook.

  • 1950

    son John born.

  • 1952

    Cook family move to live with John's mother in Southend-on-Sea, then buy their own house in Leigh-on Sea.

  • 1955

    she and John take on a pub tenancy, The White Horse in Stoke by Nayland.

  • 1956

    family moved to Zimbabwe in Africa.

  • 1960

    her first painting Hangover.

  • 1963

    family moves to Zambia.

  • 1965

    family moved back to England.

  • 1966

    began painting regularly around this time.

  • 1968

    family moved to Plymouth and run a guest house.

  • 1970

    friend sells some paintings around this time.

  • 1975

    in November at Plymouth Art Centre, her first exhibition.

  • 1976

    early this year her paintings featured in the Sunday Times colour supplement. Later her first limited-edition signed prints are produced by The Alexander Gallery. Who continue to publish prints which, since her death, are known as the official collectors editions.

  • 1977

    first exhibition with the Portal gallery [see exhibitions list]

  • 1978

    her first book "The Works" published by John Murray [see books list]. This was also the year the first greetings cards were published by Gallery 5. They are still publishing them today and to date, have issued around 200 different designs.

  • 1979

    her work first appears on television in "The South Bank Show" where she discussed it with Melvyn Bragg.

  • 1980

    TV Southwest interviews her in "A Day in the life of Beryl Cook"

  • 1981

    Gallery 5 publish the first Beryl Cook calenders and continue to do so.

  • 1983

    She and John travel to America, resulting in the book "Beryl Cook's New York"

  • 1984

    she is featured in the BBC2 program "One Pair of Eyes"

  • 1986

    her first limited-edition, signed, silk-screen prints produced by Flanagan Graphics.

  • 1988

    she is interviewed by Kathy Sayers for Westward TV.

  • 1987

    she is featured in a show for German television called "Rund Um Big Ben"

  • 1994

    her work is shown on the BBC digital channel in "The UK Today"

  • 1994

    she and John travel to South America, resulting in a number of paintings on
    Latin American subjects.

  • 1995

    she was awarded an OBE and received her medal in 1996. 1995 was also the year that the Post Office reproduced one of her paintings as a 1st class postage stamp.

  • 1998

    she and John moved to live in Bristol.

  • 2002

    her painting "The Royal Couple" featured in the Golden Jubilee exhibition
    at Art London.

  • 2002

    she and John moved back to live in Plymouth.

  • 2003

    she was interviewed in the program "My Westcountry" ITV 1

  • 2004

    Tiger Aspects made two animated films called "Bosom Pals" using characters from her paintings.

  • 2005

    Channel 4 News featured a short film on her and her work.

  • 2006

    she was the featured artist in "The Culture Show"

  • 2008

    she died at home on the 28'th of May.

  • 2008

    Plymouth University, Peninsula Arts Gallery mounted a major retrospective exhibition in November.

  • 2010

    two of her paintings are hung as part of the "Rude Britannia" exhibition at the Tate London.

  • 2011

    Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery hold a comprehensive exhibition of her paintings including some of her embroideries and other art works.


  • 1975

    Plymouth Arts Centre

  • 1976

    Whitechapel Art Gallery London.

  • 1977

    first with The Portal Gallery London, with whom she had a long and happy relationship and where she continued to exhibit until her death. They held 18 exhibitions of her work altogether, and in 2006 staged a comprehensive exhibition of her work to celebrate her 80'th birthday.

  • 1979

    Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.

  • 1981

    Musee De Cahors France

  • 1982

    Chelmsford Art Gallery.

  • 1988-1989

    touring exhibition at Stoke-on-Trent, Preston, Nottingham and Edinburgh Art Galleries.

  • 1992

    touring exhibition at Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Scunthorpe Museum & Art Gallery and York City Art Gallery.

  • 1995

    Plymouth Arts Centre

  • 1998

    touring exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery Blackpool, Durham and Hartlepool Art Galleries.

  • 2004

    Durham Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery Stoke-on Trent

  • 2007

    Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

  • 2010

    two paintings in the "Rude Britannia" exhibition at the Tate London

  • 2011

    Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery

© John Cook 2017. All rights reserved.


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