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Beryl Cook OBE, is famously known for her animated burlesque style ladies.
Beryl Cook was born Beryl Frances Tansley on The 10th September 1926 in Surrey (Epsom). She then spent her childhood growing up in Berkshire (Reading), leaving school at the age of 14 to start work. After a variety of different employments she moved to London in 1943 where she became a showgirl in the Gypsy Princess but working in the fashion industry at the same time. Beryl married her childhood sweetheart John in the summer of 1946, at the time he was a sailor in the navy, their son being born in 1950. After John retired the two of them decided to run a pub until 1951, they then moved to Southern Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe.
Beryl found painting by chance after one day clearing up her sonís toys, picking up his paints and starting painting a picture, after which she would paint every chance she had and on almost anything she could find including her breadboard. The family moved back to England in the early part of 1963 and settling into a small village in Cornwall, and that is when Beryl started to paint with more of a purpose. Shortly after the family moved to Plymouth to open and run a boarding house for theatrical artists where in the summer it was always bustling with flamboyant drag acts who also used to perform in the local pups and clubs. During the quiet spells in winter Beryl would often spend her time drawing and painting her perceived views of the coastal town, working mainly in oil painted onto wooden panels. Soon after a good friend of berylís who worked in the antique industry managed to talk her into letting him try and sell some of her pieces, and he managed to sell easily and quickly. Beryl was made an OBE in the New Yearís honours list of 1995 for her contribution the art industry. In 2002 a piece of Berylís ďThe Royal CoupleĒ was displayed in the Golden Jubilee exhibition in Chelsea. Beryl Passed away on 28th May 2008 aged 81, a great loss to the art world.
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