The Cooley Gallery Proudly Announces: “The Subtle Genius of Henry Cooke White (1861-1952);” An exhibition and sale of pastels; June 26th- August 7th, 2010

  • OLD LYME, Connecticut
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  • June 02, 2010

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Henry Cooke White (1861 - 1952) Moonrise, estate stamped lower left, pastel on paper, 10" x 14 1/4"
The Cooley Gallery


The Subtle Genius of Henry Cooke White (1861-1952) is an exhibition and sale opening at The Cooley Gallery Saturday, June 26th. 

Inspired by last summer's exhibition, Visions of Mood, at the Florence Griswold Museum, The Cooley Gallery is very pleased to announce the exhibition and sale, The Subtle Genius of Henry Cooke White, by the beloved Connecticut artist. Until the recent museum show, this collection had been under the care of the artist's family for over fifty years.  Pastel paintings of Old Lyme, Long Island Sound, Manhattan, Hartford and Venice will be on view and available for sale at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT through August 7th.  

"We have had numerous paintings by H.C. White over the last 25 years.  I knew his work pretty well," says Jeff Cooley, owner of the gallery "but I kept going back to Visions of Mood at the museum because I discovered something new about him with each visit. Sometimes it was the poetry, the spontaneity, the stillness or the depth. Each visit brought me a new appreciation for the man and the artist."

Henry Cooke White (1861 - 1952) Murano, signed, titled, and dated "June 29 - 28" lower left, pastel on paper, 5" x 7 3/4"
The Cooley Gallery

Henry Cooke White was an accomplished painter and writer who also worked in pastel for four decades. He was born into a prosperous family in Hartford in 1861, an only child with little academic ambition but an adventurous spirit. At the age of fourteen, on one of his many explorations around Hartford, he met the famous American Tonalist painter Dwight Tryon who would become an influential part of White's professional and personal life.  After lessons in his studio Tryon felt White had plenty of talent and encouraged him to continue his artistic study in New York. There White took classes at the Art Students League with Kenyon Cox, William Merritt Chase and another influential pastelist, John Henry Twachtman. 

White married and his first born son was three years old when he came to Old Lyme as part of the developing art colony in 1903.  White's family had a farm in Litchfield and vacationed along the shore in Clinton but it was as an adult that White found land in Waterford that answered his call to the sea.  He was an avid sailor and fisherman, and as an artist found the sky and varied topography ideal for his art. The summer house he built along the shore in Waterford would become a year-round residence and home to four flourishing generations of artists and writers. Nelson H. White, a painter and Henry's youngest grandson quoted his grandfather as saying "I wish I had accomplished in my oil paintings what I did in my pastels." 

Henry Cooke White (1861 - 1952) Reflections, estate stamped lower left, pastel on paper, 10 1/2" x 14"
The Cooley Gallery


More than forty pastels will be exhibited in The Subtle Genius of Henry Cooke White.

The Cooley Gallery is pleased to announce a gallery talk by the artist’s grandson, Nelson Holbrook White, Saturday, July 10th, 2010.  Mr. Nelson White has devoted his life to artistic study and his paintings hang in museums and galleries around the world. He acknowledges the deep influence of the art of both his father and grandfather and continues the family tradition of a love of the gentler side of nature. “Painting is the expression of an artist's emotion, but it requires extensive discipline and training to express his intention.”

 [Images at 300dpi or greater available upon request].

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists.

 Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Please call (860) 434-8807 or visit for additional information. The Cooley Gallery is located at 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.


Susan Cornell


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