Kenyon Cox

  • William A. Coffin, Kenyon Cox, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Allyn Cox, 1983.31.3

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American artist Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) was a portrait painter, illustrator, and writer, best known for the murals he created for public buildings such as the Library of Congress. He was also close friends with William Coffin, and in the summer of 1885, Cox stayed at the artist’s family farm in western Pennsylvania. Coffin made this portrait of his guest smoking a pipe in the carpentry shop. A painter’s palette behind Cox’s head symbolizes their professional kinship. (Morgan, Kenyon Cox, 1856-1919: A Life in American Art, 1994)

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“[Cox] maintains that [Art’s] ultimate supremacy is inevitable . . . the day when it shall be acknowledged as second to none is his only thought.” William Coffin, 1891, quoted in Morgan, Kenyon Cox, 1856-1919: A Life in American Art, 1994

Kenyon Cox
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Allyn Cox

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male – Cox, Kenyon – full length
  • Occupation – art – painter
  • Architecture Interior – studio – Cox
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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