Sun, Wind, and Rain: The Art of David Cox

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sun, Wind, and Rain: The Art of David Cox was the first major exhibition since 1983 devoted to this important figure in the development of British landscape and watercolor painting. Throughout a long and productive career, Cox (1783–1859) made a specialty of capturing the effects of weather and light in the English and Welsh countryside. This exhibition included more than one hundred of his watercolors and drawings and approximately a dozen paintings. The works were drawn from the Center’s collection, as well as from public and private collections in Great Britain and the United States.

Born in Birmingham, Cox began as a watercolor painter in London in 1804, the founding year of the Society of Painters in Water-Colours, of which he would later become a member and regular exhibitor. Through the 1830s his watercolors reflected many of the dominant trends in British landscape and watercolor painting. Toward the end of that decade he took up oil painting, and in 1841 returned to Birmingham to pursue his work in the new medium. The quality of his landscape painting in oils has yet to be fully recognized. He by no means abandoned watercolor painting, and in these same years his watercolors gained a remarkable boldness, gravity, and freedom of technique that set them apart from current fashion. In the last decades of his life he stood out as one of watercolors most original and distinctive practitioners.

David Cox, Westminster from Lambeth (detail), ca. 1813, watercolor with scratching out, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Sun, Wind, and Rain: The Art of David Cox
was co-organized by the Yale Center for British Art and Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, UK. The exhibition curators were Scott Wilcox, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Center, and Victoria Osborne, Curator of Art (Prints and Drawings), Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery. At the Center, Sun, Wind, and Rain was supported by the David T. Langrock Foundation.

Yale Center for British Art:
October 16, 2008–January 4, 2009

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery:
January 31–May 3, 2009