Nelson Cook
Birth Date: 1808
Death Date: 1892
Artist Gallery
Nelson Cook, one of nine children, was the son of furniture-maker Joseph Cook of Wallingford, Connecticut and Mary Ann Tolman . Around 1832 Cook left the Saratoga area for Canada, where he spent six to seven years as an itinerant painter. His wife Esther (or Ester), born in New York State and about the same age as Nelson, moved with Nelson from city to city and helped in his work by choosing colors, clothing textures, and background drapery in portraits. That Nelson was a prolific portrait painter of locally prominent men and women in the United States and Canada suggests that he was an itinerant painter who travelled to his clients rather than owning a portrait studio. His technique and style captures the personalities of his sitters and preserves a naïve quality that suggest that he was a very talented artist but essentially self-trained. The Mrs. Naramore portrait may be Lucy Jones Naramore, (1825 - 1858), Union County, Pennsylvania. She married in 1848 to Hon. Williard Parker Naramore (1824-1910), a respected physician, preacher, financier, and politician from Seneca County, New York. They eventually moved to Illinois after getting his education in Ohio. The woman in the painting does appear to be about age 30, the age that Lucy Naramore was in 1855.