An Artist of the American Renaissance: The Letters of Kenyon Cox, 1883-1919


Kenyon Cox was born in Warren, Ohio, in 1856 to a nationally prominent family. He eventually became a leading painter in the classical style - particularly of murals in state capitols, courthouses, and other major buildings - and one of the most important traditionalist art critics in the United States. An Artist of the American Renaissance is a collection of Cox's private correspondence from his years in New York City and the companion work to editor H. Wayne Morgan's An American Art Student in Paris: The Letters of Kenyon Cox, 1877-1882 (Kent State University Press, 1986). These frank, engaging, and sometimes naive and whimsical letters show Cox's personal development as his career progressed. They offer valuable comments on the inner workings of the American art scene and describe how the artists around Cox lived and earned incomes. Travel, courtship of the student who became his wife, teaching, politics of art associations, the process of painting murals, the controversy surrounding the depiction of the,nude, promotion of the new American art of his day, and his support of a modified classical ideal against the modernism that triumphed after the 1913 Armory Show are among the subjects he touched upon.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Kent, OH
Publication year:
  • 1995


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