Olive Cook (1912-2002)


Born in Cambridge in 1912, Olive Cook read Modern Languages at Newnham and began work for publisher, Chatto and Windus, as a typographer.  She then spent eight years at the National Gallery, whilst her painting tuition came from Cedric Morris at the East Anglian School of Art and Design at Benton End near Hadleigh.  She was also encouraged by her husband from 1954, Edwin Smith.  Smith, too, painted and drew, although his artistic reputation was forged through photography. The pair collaborated on a number of acclaimed books for Thames and Hudson, Cook’s prose and Smith’s photography in perfect harmony. 

In 1985 Olive Cook helped to establish the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden, creating a permanent home for those Essex artists whom she and Edwin Smith had championed. 

Past Sales at Sworders

Request a valuation

If you're considering the sale of your items, we are happy to offer a free online valuation service. Please fill out the form and press the 'Submit' button below. Expect to hear from the appropriate valuer as soon as possible.


Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.

Lot Alerts

Don't miss out on the things you love! Sign up for our free Lot Alert service and we'll send you a reminder when an item you want is coming up.