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Book of Pictures

1910-1917 Kenyon Cox Born: Warren, Ohio 1856 Died: New York, New York 1919 oil on canvas 29 7/8 x 36 in. (76.0 x 91.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Allyn Cox 1959.10.2 Not currently on view

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Kenyon Cox was as much an art critic as a painter. He contributed articles to prestigious magazines such as The Nation and Scribner’s, and much of his writing dealt with the power of art to speak a universal language. His Raphael-inspired Book of Pictures, of a mother showing her child an illustrated book, represents this conviction. In the early years of the twentieth century, many Americans learned about European art through mass-produced images in books and magazines. Cox advocated using such means to encourage lessons of good taste that would extend into all aspects of American life. (Morgan, Kenyon Cox, 1856-1919: A Life in American Art, 1994)


Dress - historic - classical dress

Figure group - female and child

Landscape - tree

Object - written matter - book

Occupation - education - teacher

Recreation - leisure - reading


paint - oil

fabric - canvas