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(Arthur William) Douglas Cooper, who also published as Douglas Lord (20 February 1911 – 1 April 1984) was a British art historian, art critic and art collector. He mainly collected Cubist works.

Douglas's mother came from old-established English aristocracy. His biographer and longtime partner John Richardson considered his suffering from the social exclusion of his family by his countrymen to be a defining characteristic of his friend,clarify explaining in particular his Anglophobia. Cooper never visited Australia and proposed that he might have been conceived there during the honeymoon of his parents.

In 1933, he became a partner in the Mayor Gallery in London and planned to show works of Picasso, Léger, Miró and Klee in collaboration with Paris-based art dealers like Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Pierre Loeb (1897–1964); however, this collaboration ended fast and unfavourably. Cooper was paid out in works of art.

Cooper attributed this failure not least to the conservative policy of the Tate Gallery; according to Richardson, his resentment was the catalyst for the structure of his own collection, which should prove the backwardness of the Tate Gallery. At the outbreak of the Second World War 1939, he had acquired 137 cubist works, partly with the help of collector and dealer Dr. Gottlieb Friedrich Reber (1880–1959), some of them masterpieces, using a third of his inheritance.


Picasso with John Richardson and Douglas Cooper
Douglas Cooper was a British art historian, art critic and art collector. He mainly collected Cubist works. In 1950, he became acquainted with art historian John Richardson, sharing his life with him for the next 10 years. John Richardson moved to southern France (Provence) in 1952, as Cooper acquired Château de Castille in the vicinity of Avignon and transformed the run-down castle into a private museum of early Cubism. In 1960, Richardson left Cooper and moved to New York City.

In 1950, he became acquainted with art historian John Richardson, sharing his life with him for the next 10 years. John Richardson moved to southern France (Provence) in 1952, as Cooper acquired Château de Castille in the vicinity of Avignon and transformed the run-down castle into a private museum of early Cubism. Cooper had been at home in the Paris art scene before World War II and had been active in the art business as well; by building his own collection, he also met many artists personally and introduced them to his friends. Richardson and Cooper became close friends of Picasso, Fernand Léger and Nicolas de Staël as well. At that time Richardson developed an interest in Picasso's portraits and contemplated creating a publication; more than 20 years later, these plans expanded into Richardson's four-part Picasso biography A Life of Picasso. In 1960, Richardson left Cooper and moved to New York City.

"Douglas may have started his career as a rebel in the cause of cubism, but he ended up as a rebel without a cause at all except a loathing for all forms of progressive art and the American pundits--"the flying rabbits," he called them, "heads on upside down, like a Chagall"--who promoted them. [...] he went on savaging anyone who dared write about "his" artists, but his tirades were all bark and no bite and no longer to be found in the pages of the Times Literary Supplement or The Burlington Magazine.“- JOHN RICHARDSON: The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper., p. 300

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Cooper_(art_historian)

Sir John Patrick Richardson, KBE, FBA (born 22 February, 1924 in London) is a British art historian and Picasso biographer. Richardson has also worked as an industrial designer and as a reviewer for The New Observer. He moved to southern France (Provence) in 1952 where he became friends with Picasso, Léger and de Staël. In 1960, he moved back to New York and organized a nine-gallery Picasso retrospective. Christie's then appointed him to open their US office, which he ran for the next nine years. In 1973 he joined New York gallery M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., as Vice President in charge of 19th and 20th-century painting, and later became Managing Director of Artemis, a mutual fund specializing in works of art.

In 1980 he started devoting all his time to writing and working on his Picasso biography. He has also been a contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. In 1993 Richardson was elected to the British Academy and in 1995 he was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford. In 2011, Richardson was awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2012 was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

John Patrick Richardson was born on 22 February, 1924, the elder son of Sir Wodehouse Richardson, D.S.O., K.C.B., Quarter-Master General in the Boer War, and founder of London and the British Empire's Army & Navy Stores. His mother was Patty (née Crocker); he had a younger sister (b. 1925) and a younger brother. In 1929, when he was five years old, his father died, and his mother sent him to board at two successive preparatory schools, where he was unhappy. When he was thirteen he became a boarder at Stowe school, where he admired the architecture and landscape and was taught something about the work of Picasso and other innovative painters. By 1939 and the outbreak of World War II he knew that he wanted to become an artist, and, a month short of seventeen, enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art (at that time 'evacuated' to Oxford), where he became a friend of Geoffrey Bennison and James Bailey. When he was called up, he obtained a position in the Irish Guards, but almost immediately contracted rheumatic fever and was invalided out of the army. During this period he met and made friends with Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, both of whom portrayed him later. He spent the rest of the war with his mother and siblings in London. During daytime, he worked as an industrial designer before becoming a reviewer for The New Observer. In 1949 he became acquainted with art historian and collector Douglas Cooper, with whom he would share his life for the next ten years.

He moved to southern France (Provence) in 1952, as Douglas Cooper acquired Château de Castille in the vicinity of Avignon and transformed the run-down castle into a private museum of early Cubism. Cooper had been at home in the Paris art scene before World War II and had been active in the art business as well; by building his own collection, he also met many artists personally and introduced them to his friend. Richardson became a close friend of Picasso, Léger and de Staël as well. Back then he developed an interest in Picasso's portraits and contemplated creating a publication; more than 20 years later, these plans expanded into his four-part Picasso biography A Life of Picasso, whose last volume has not yet been published.

In 1960, Richardson left Cooper and moved to New York, where he organized a nine-gallery Picasso retrospective in 1962 and a Braque retrospective in 1964. Christie's then appointed him to open their US office, which he ran for the next nine years. In 1973 he joined New York gallery M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., as Vice President in charge of 19th- and 20th-century painting, and later became Managing Director of Artemis, a mutual fund specializing in works of art.

In 1980 he decided to devote all his time to writing. Besides working on his Picasso biography, he has been a contributor to, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. In 1993 Richardson was elected to the British Academy and in 1995 he was appointed Slade Professor of Art at Oxford.

The first of four planned volumes of Richardson's A Life of Picasso biography, (originally planned to be published in one single volume), was published in 1991, describing 25 years from his birth to 1906, winning a Whitbread Award. The second volume was published in November 1996, covering 10 years from 1907–1916, covering the birth of Cubism, followed by the third volume in 2007, devoted to the period up to 1932, when Picasso turned 50. Richardson is currently working on the final volume with the assistance of Michael Cary and Gijs van Hensbergen, which is scheduled to be published by Knopf in 2014.

15 years after Cooper's death, Richardson published his biography (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper) in 1999 and a collection of essays in 2001 (Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters). He was curator of an exhibition of the late Picasso with title Mosqueteros in the Gagosian Gallery in New York City. For the London Gagosian Gallery, he curated another such exhibition in 2010: Picasso - The Mediterranean Years (1945-1962), 4. Juni - 28. August 2010.

In 2011, Richardson was awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his contributions to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.

Richardson was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to art.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Richardson_%28art_historian%29

Further Readings:

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper by John Richardson
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (September 25, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0226712451
ISBN-13: 978-0226712451
Amazon: The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is John Richardson's vivid memoir of the time he spent living with and learning from the deeply knowledgeable and temperamental art collector, Douglas Cooper. For ten years the two entertained a circle of friends that included Jean Cocteau, W. H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, and, most intriguingly, Pablo Picasso. Compulsively readable and beautifully illustrated, this book is both a triple portrait of the author, Cooper, and Picasso, and a revealing look at a crucial artistic period.

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