The September, 2018 the Crossroads of Rockland History podcast focused on the forgotten painter, inventor, couturier, textile designer and ceramist Edith Varian Cockcroft (1881-1962).
Eve M. Kahn (Art Historian and New York Times contributor) appeared with Sloatsburg native Peter Bush. They discussed the interesting life of the artist and the research that has been underway during this recent rediscovery.
Cockcroft, a Brooklyn native, studied art with William Merritt Chase and traveled widely in Europe before World War I. Critics lauded her atmospheric views of French and British coastal villages and portraits of nudes against vibrant fabric backdrops. She exhibited at venues such as the Paris Salon, the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Collectors as elite as Moscow’s Ivan Morosov acquired her work.
In the 1920s, Cockcroft ran a Manhattan couture studio and patented methods for printing silk, in patterns partly based on Javanese batiks. Her blouse-making kits were marketed nationwide as a “silk sensation,” and her clothes were worn by the performers Irene Castle and Jeanette MacDonald. In the 1930s, she moved to Sloatsburg, NY, where she kept painting–from Europe to Haiti–and designing textiles while also producing dinnerware sets in metallic glazes.
Listen to the podcast here.
Crossroads of Rockland History, a program of the Historical Society of Rockland County, airs on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 am, right after the morning show, on WRCR radio at www.WRCR.com. Join host Clare Sheridan as we explore, celebrate, and learn about our local history, with different topics and guest speakers every month.
The Historical Society of Rockland County is a nonprofit educational institution and principal repository for original documents and artifacts relating to Rockland County. Its headquarters are a four-acre site featuring a history museum and the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House in New City, New York.