Daisy Sifferman Cook was first and foremost, a storyteller. Born in 1902, just west of Republic, Missouri, Daisy witnessed early life activities associated with turn of the century farming. Daisy was the eldest of eight children and in being so, her family duties included many chores and responsibilities.
As an adult, Daisy taught English and mathematics in the Branson, Missouri area. It was after her retirement, at the age of 61, Daisy began an incredible journey of storytelling and the preservation of history through the medium of art.
It came about when one of Daisy’s daughters completed an art class in college and sent the leftover paints home to her mother. Not being one to waste anything, Daisy put them to use.
She began In the early 1960’s, with a few basic painting classes focusing on still life and traditional subjects. However, Daisy felt empty and unfulfilled. She wanted to paint something real, something with meaning, something with meat. When she showed her teacher a painting she created from a long ago memory, to society’s great fortune, the teacher recognized the significance of her work and encouraged her to proceed on her own.
Thus, Daisy Cook began a mission of painting what she knew best - life on the farm. With a clear focus and unpretentious manner, Daisy created a historic record that volumes of books could never completely define. One by one, her paintings depicted the work, family, faith, ethics, and community environments that shaped our heritage from birth to the grave.
Each painting, she constructed from memory alone. She included everything needed to explain the situation or task. There were no frills added or decoration invented in order to achieve a properly constructed piece of work. Only what was necessary to tell the story was included. In every piece we find she communicated the weather, the time of year, the task and the people involved. Simple and pure; no more no less; true to her incredible memory.
The Art Department at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, had the foresight to see that Daisy Cook was literally painting a historic document of Missouri rural life. A life and lifestyle that would soon be forgotten. Crowder College began acquiring her work and today the college's Longwell Museum possesses over 100 of her paintings.
Even with a late start in art, and the development of Parkinson’s disease, Daisy Cook continued to paint over 350 "stories" of early American life. Her work may not be considered technical or trained, but the message in each piece is true, deep and fulfilling.
Daisy (Sifferman) Cook
1902 - 1977