The artist was trained at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and in London, and spent most of his life in the south Manchester and Bowden areas. In Paris he studied with Jules Breton and Carolus Duran, and Grange Fell was given place of honour at the 1889 Paris Salon. He married Julia, and they had one daughter, Enid COOPER.
At the retrospective Altrincham Art Exhibition, over fifty of his oils and watercolours were exhibited, and the following comment appeared in the programme: 'It is difficult to single out individual works for mention, but Moonlight, Kynance Bay, Cornwall; Evening, Carbis Bay, Cornwall, and Peace, a translucent rendering of a moonlit sea, are uncommonly attractive and carefully executed.'
His list of Cornish titles was quite extensive, and most were first exhibited and sold between 1897-99. He also painted a series of landscapes associated with the poet Tennyson. His associations and favoured painting places locally were at the Lizard, Kynance and Carbis Bay.
Painter of landscapes in oils and watercolour
works and access
Likenesses of the Artist: Photograph of the artist is in the MAFA cuttings book of 1896
Works include: A Rough Sea, the Lizard, Cornwall; Moonlight, Kynance Bay, Cornwall; Evening, Carbis Bay, Cornwall; Peace; Freshwater Isle of Wight; A field Landscape at Sunset (1891); Godrevy Light (1905); A Cornish Lanscape (1928); A Bay, Early Autumn; Across The Moorland
Access to work: Manchester City Art Gallery owns two or three Coopers; Altrincham Art Gallery (no longer extant); Rochdale Art Gallery
AMAFA 1891, 1896-99 (Council member);
Member of Athenaeum Graphic Club 1881
misc further info
Programme details from Altrincham Art Exhibition: The first public exhibition in Altrincham of the oil-paintings and watercolour drawings by the late Byron Cooper (of Bowdon) was opened on Saturday, when a number of invitations were extended to a private view of the exhibition, which is to be held at the John Newton Art Gallery, Central Library, George Street, Altrincham, until March 30th. The exhibition is the sixth to be held in the Altrincham Art Gallery, and is one of the finest yet presented to the local public. Mr Cooper, until his death, was known for a number of years as the 'grand old man' of Manchester artists. He was a constant exhibitor at the Royal Academy, and one of the artists specially singled out for the honour of representing Great Britain at the large international exhibitions of Paris, St Louis, USA, New Zealand, etc; the Franco-British, Coronation, Irish, and Spanish Exhibitions. Fifty-one examples now hang in the gallery, and one of them, 'Early Autumn', has been presented to the Altrincham permanent collection by Miss Enid Cooper, in memory of her father, who was a familar figure locally. An exhibition of Byron Cooper's work was held at the Central Art Gallery, Manchester, last autumn, but the Altrincham exhibition displays many examples not then shown, including a large canvas that instantly attracts attention - an oil painting of Rostherne Mere by moonlight. The pictures have been lent by Miss Enid Cooper, and others, and have been most tastefully and effectively hung. We were privileged to attend the private view on Staurday afternoon, and formed the impression that here was an exhibition which must commend itself to every lover of the beautiful in this district. It is difficult to single out individual works for mention, but 'Moonlight, Kynance Bay, Cornwall', 'Evening, Carbis Bay, Cornwall',' and 'Peace', a translucent rendering of a moonlit sea, are uncommonly attractive and carefully executed. An interesting souvenir catalogue has been issued, price one penny. Altrincham school children are to have the opportunity of inspecting the collection, and the Curator (Mr WG Bosworth) has invited the head masters of local schools to send parties of children, when it is hoped to arrange for them to hear a short address on the works, to be given either by Miss Cooper, or the Curator. From Royal Academy exhibitors list (RA), Manchester Academy of Fine Artists Spring Exhibitions (MAFA); and Manchester Art Gallery Spring Exhibition (MAG) (from documentation in Manchester Art Gallery). RA (20) 1881, #17, 'The last chapter' 1885, #327, 'Moonrise' 1886, #251, A Surrey landscape: 'where the vast prospect, etc' 1887, #434 'The Foreland, North Devon; #519, 'The time of sweet serenity when colour glows etc' 1888, #1082, 'A spring morning-Heysham'; #1142, 'The Surrey Weald'; #1346, The rising moon.'In the full glory of the sunset's glow etc' 1889, #95, 'An autumn afternoon-Surrey'; #353, 'All among the barley-North Devon'; #1304, 'A Devonshire Coombe, Exmoor'; #1386, 'When the lengthening shadows fall.'; #1472, 'Queen of the night, arise! unveil! etc.' 1890, #120, 'Where the golden gorse doth bloom'; #281, 'Where the long drooping boughs between, etc.'; #1324, 'Softly the evening mists arise' 1891, #597, 'A Surrey Common' 1893, #319, 'Long fields of barley and of rye etc.' 1897, #466, 'Early summer time in the Vale of Porlock'; #538, 'A Cornish cavern' MAG (3) 1898, #8, 'The Cool Spring Time, Arnside' (£73.10); #28, 'A Cornish Coombe, Moonrise' (£52.10) 1899, #42, 'Sunset, Trebaraith, Cornwall' (£73.10) MAFA (4) 1898, #62, 'A Cornish Coombe, (£73.10); #85, 'Autumn, Surrey' (£73.10); #92, 'By the side of the Solent, IOW' (£52.10); #98, 'In the spring time, near Arthog' (£52.10); (uncertain from report which gallery) 1898, #105, 'The rising of the Harvest Moon after a Storm' (£73.10); #197' A Cornish Headland, Bossiney' (£15.15) 1899, #74, 'A Summer afternoon, Cornwall, Watercolour'; #141, 'Bossiney Cave, Cornwall'; #142, 'Autumn, Surrey'; #179, 'Queen of the night, arise'; #224, 'Moonrise, Cornwall'; #226, 'A Summer Calm, Cornwall'; #271, 'Midsummer Moonlight, St Ives'.
Bowden Historical Society Papers
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p320)
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
Wood (1995) Victorian Painters