Beryl Cook

Beryl Cook, (September 10, 1926 – May 28, 2008) was an English artist best known for her original and instantly recognisable paintings of people enjoying themselves in pubs, girls shopping or out on a hen night. Drag shows or a family picnicing by the seaside or abroad - tangoing in Buenos Aires or gambling in Las Vegas. She had no formal training and did not take up painting until middle age.

Cook admired the work of the English visionary artist Stanley Spencer, his influence evident in her compositions and bold bulky figures. Another influence was Edward Burra, who painted sleazy cafes, nightclubs, gay bars, sailors and prostitutes, although, unlike Burra, she did not paint the sinister aspects of scenes. Beryl Cook's work can be seen in context with the British tradition of social realist painters and could be described as a twentieth century Hogarth or Gilray.