Carlisle Cooper Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Carlisle Carlton Cooper

September 6, 1919 - September 11, 2013
Obituary

Carlisle Cooper, esteemed artist and educator, died Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in Ventura. Mr. Cooper was 94 years old. Mr. Cooper was a figurative painter who explored the human condition as it concerns man's relationship to truth. His work examined how a human being strives to maintain harmony and balance in a rapidly changing technology-driven world. Humanity, with all of the wonders of life, is the essence of his art and was his endless well of inspiration. His work was notable for its intoxicating use of color and distinctive transference of shadow. Carlisle Cooper was a gentle man and true southern gentleman. Born in 1919 in...
Carlisle Cooper, esteemed artist and educator, died Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in Ventura. Mr. Cooper was 94 years old.
Mr. Cooper was a figurative painter who explored the human condition as it concerns man's relationship to truth. His work examined how a human being strives to maintain harmony and balance in a rapidly changing technology-driven world. Humanity, with all of the wonders of life, is the essence of his art and was his endless well of inspiration. His work was notable for its intoxicating use of color and distinctive transference of shadow. Carlisle Cooper was a gentle man and true southern gentleman. Born in 1919 in Alabama, he graduated from high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1940 he began the study of cartooning at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and by 1941 he was producing a weekly cartoon strip "Fighting with Daniel Boone" for the Chicago Tribune-New York News syndicate. He served in the U.S. Army, European Theater of Operations from 1942-1945. After the war, under the G.I. Bill, he entered the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied figure drawing and painting under William Mosby.
From 1954 to 1958 he worked in Chicago as a commercial artist. In 1958 he moved to Seattle where, at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio, he met the love of his life, Brigitte Dehmelt, an immigrant from Berlin, Germany. They were married in 1959. Mrs. Cooper passed away in 2009.After coming to California in the early 60s, Mr. Cooper attended UCLA and Chouinard, where he studied with Herbert Jepson who had a great influence on him, teaching him to free himself "from too much academic training, to be looser and a little more innovative." In 1963 Mr. Cooper was hired as a full time art instructor at Ventura College.
That was the beginning of a teaching career that lasted until 2011. To his students he was always "Mr. Cooper," invariably dressed in his trademark cardigan sweater and tie. In his classes he emphasized color, design, drawing and tone value. He was strict but fair, insisting that his students learn the rules before breaking them. His critiques of a student's work always centered on what the student needed to do to improve his or her work, always in the context of the class session. His students were often admonished to "squint and compare," a surefire way to examine the work and make necessary corrections. Numerous honors were bestowed on Mr. Cooper. The artist was extensively documented by Focus on the Masters for inclusion in its Archive and Library. He was honored in 2007, receiving the City of Ventura's Mayor's Art Award for Arts Educator. The Museum of Ventura County, in 2011, honored him, along with noted former Ventura College faculty William McEnroe, Norman Kirk and Gerd Koch, in an exhibit titled "Four Masters - Four Legends." He is widely collected and has exhibited in the United States and Germany. A recent retrospective at the Santa Paula Museum of Art was one of many solo exhibitions. Locally, he maintained close ties with Ventura College, the Buenaventura Art Association, Focus on the Masters, Studio Channel Islands Art Center, Art City, The Santa Paula Art Museum, and the former The Upstairs Gallery.
Carlisle Cooper will be remembered by his legion of students and friends as a man who remained first and foremost an inquisitive man, an artist who took great joy in describing a variety of subjects including the excitement of the Space Age, the humanity in a jazz musician, or the exhilaration of sporting events.
Carlisle Cooper is survived by his niece Ena Karen Cooper, and her daughter Bree Cooper Stonefelt, of Washington State. His brother, James Porter Cooper, predeceased him by three weeks.
A service to celebrate and honor his life and work will be held Friday, September 20, at 11 a.m., at the Ventura College Art Department courtyard, adjacent to Room SAB1.A fundraising effort is underway at Ventura College to establish the Carlisle Cooper Memorial Art Scholarship as a legacy tribute to Carlisle. Donations can be sent to: The Ventura College Foundation, 4667 Telegraph Rd., Ventura, CA 93003 or contact Norbert Tan at 805-289-6160. This scholarship will honor Carlisle in perpetuity. Donation envelopes available at the memorial service on Friday, September 20 at 11 a.m. on campus in front of SAB-1. Gifts can also be made on the College Foundation website at tinyurl.com/coopervcscholarship. All gifts must specify: Carlisle Cooper Memorial Art Scholarship. Parking will be complementary in the west lot. Light refreshments will be served.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura.

Share your memories or express your condolences by signing the Guest Book below or click here for entry suggestions.

"Uncle Carlisle, as our cousin was known to us in Atlanta, Georgia, was held in high esteem by all of us in this part of the country. My brother Carlisle..." Scott Young (Atlanta, GA)

Submit Guest Book Entry
This Guest Book has 10 entries. View Complete Guest Book

More Obituaries

Ventura County Star
1919-2013 Carlisle Cooper, esteemed artist and educator, died Wednesday, September 11, in Ventura. Mr. Cooper was 94 years old. Mr. Cooper was...

Read obituary at Ventura County Star.

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Make your plan online today.
Plan Online Now
Send a Card
Send Meals to the Family