Edward C. Cook
1932 –  Class of 2010  Visual Arts
Born in 1932 in Boise, Idaho, self-taught Artist of Miniatures Edward C. Cook moved to Batavia with his wife Janice in 2005.  They recently celebrated their 54th anniversary.  After enjoying a successful corporate career, he began painting in 1980.  

In 1983 Ed made the decision to concentrate his talent on the precise art of miniature painting.  Just a year later, in 1984, he won First in Acrylics at the Annual International Show held in Billings, Montana, by the Montana Miniature Art Society.  In 1988, just five years after he started painting miniatures, the American Artist publication listed Edward C. Cook as one of six emerging artists out of 1,100 that submitted artwork for consideration to be featured by the Greenwich Workshop Galleries.

Miniature painting is a fine art as well as a specialty art.  Most of Ed’s acrylic paintings are not much longer than three inches.  Using a special magnifying device he wears over his bifocals, Mr. Cook produces about one painting per month.   Popular since the Renaissance, miniature art must adhere to a 1/6 rule.  Ed has a special love of nature, which can be seen in his renditions of rural landscapes,
old buildings, barns, streams, and waterfalls, as well as in intimate views of water lilies, one of his favorite subjects.

His paintings hang in private collections in the United States, Europe, and South America, and his work is represented by four galleries.  From regional art venues and shows, Ed has accumulated over seventy-five Best of Show awards, Awards of Excellence, and First Place honors.   He won First in Acrylic in 1989 and Second Best of Show in 1990 from the Miniature Art Society of Florida.  From the Miniature Art Society of New Jersey, he won the Judge’s Choice in 1988 and the Best of Painting/Oil Acrylic Award in 2009.  In 2007, he was presented with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his outstanding achievements, service, and public distinction.

Ed’s paintings also have been recognized for their quality and merit in several international competitions, with two Best of Show awards, several gold medals, including the Grumbacher Gold Medallion Award, a second Best of Show, and first place awards.  

In 1995, Ed was one of only thirty-eight American miniaturists invited to London to participate in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Miniature Society, which is under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II.  In addition, Ed’s artwork has received honors from the Miniature Arts of America and Whiskey Painters of America.

Ed told this story about the painting reproduced here of the Church of All Saints – Bedfordshire, England:  “As a young soldier I was bicycling through the English countryside about 15 miles from where I was stationed.  A shower passed by and as I rounded a corner in the lovely village of Odell, I saw this scene.  I took a photo of it with the idea of having it framed someday.  When I began painting, I decided I would paint this ‘memory of my youth’ instead.”  The original is still a favorite part of the artist’s collection.

The Village of Hoffman Estates has acquired a growing collection of Ed’s original paintings, which are used to produce a yearly series of Limited Edition Christmas ornaments.  The Schaumburg Library and the City of Batavia also are proud owners of original pieces.  He is a member of both the Batavia Art Guild and the Batavia Artists Association.

In addition to painting, Mr. Cook has presented programs on miniature painting at the Morton Arboretum, to several art leagues, and for art teachers throughout the Fox Valley.  To children, he describes artists as magicians, whose “wands” have a fuzzy end.  Ed freely gives his time to encourage young artists and has donated painting equipment to the Water Street Gallery in his current hometown of Batavia.

Despite his late start into painting these “micro-masterpieces,” Edward C. Cook knew he wanted to be an artist way back in second grade, always believing his talent to be God-given.  That is the reason his signature appears in the shape of the Christian fish symbol.  In his remarks at the 2010 Induction Banquet on April 22, 2010, Ed praised the organization that honored him  – “my thanks go to all those that thought about and then conceived the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame.”

See more of Ed Cook’s work at: www.edcookminiatures.com
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 Winner of numerous honors from the Miniature Artists of Ame
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