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Cora Smalley Brooks

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1885 - 1930)

Cora S. Brooks was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was the daughter of Annie M. and Edward F. Brooks. By 1902, the year she entered the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, her parents had moved to Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, where she lived most of her adult life, returning to the Delaware County suburban community just west of Philadelphia time and again after travels to faraway places such as Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Like so many members of the Philadelphia Ten, Brooks studied at the PSDW with Elliot Daingerfield and Henry B. Snell. Snell, in particular, would be not only her teacher, but also a lifelong mentor and friend. Following her graduation from art school, Brooks took an apartment in Philadelphia where she set up her studio, which she eventually shared at different times with Eleanor Abrams, Lucile Howard and Constance Cochrane. All three joined her in founding the Philadelphia Ten in 1917.

Cora Brooks' work included landscapes and occasional portraits, but she was best known for - as well as most awarded for - her vibrant, colorful and textured floral still-lifes. For these works she received critical acclaim at her solo exhibition held at the Arts Club of Washington, DC, in 1929.

Cora Brooks died of pneumonia less than a year after this career high point, in 1930.

Additional Images

Floral Still Life, 30 x 36 inches

A Bowl of Posies, 20 x 18 inches

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