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Cook, Leland A. (Twentieth century (active))



  • Existence: Twentieth century (active)


Leland Arnot Cook was an avid photographer, author, and lecturer. He was married to Sunny Cook, and had two children, Kathy Ann Cook and Christopher Leland Cook.

In 1946, after serving in the military during World War II, Cook attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. He graduated in 1949.

In 1956, Cook began working for luxury retailer, Tiffany and Company (Tiffany & Co.), in New York City. During his career, Cook was privy to the intimacies of high-street lifestyles. As advertising photographer, his responsibility was photographing millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry and ware. At times, Cook was in the presence of celebrities including Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard during the filming of _Breakfast at Tiffany's_ at the Fifth Avenue store.

In 1957, Cook was commissioned by the stationary department to photograph William Jay Bolton's, _Gift of the Magi_, the first figural stained glass window known to have been made in the United States. The window was to be used on Christmas cards. This event prompted a lifelong adoration for the art of stained glass. Starting in 1971, Cook began slide presentations and lectures on stained glass, gaining favor with groups such as the Daughters of American Revolution, Victorian Society of America, and other historical societies. Photographs taken during the restoration of New York City's St. Patrick’s Cathedral culminated in his book, _St. Patrick's Cathedral: A Centennial History_," in 1979. Cook retired in 1983, after 27 years with Tiffany. He spent the following years venturing across the United States in search of "storied stained glass in America," while capturing "interesting Americana."

Following a commencement address at his alma mater, Cook received an Honorary Master of Science degree in Professional Photography in 1984. In 1985, Cook was appointed to the Arts and Cultural Commission of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. He curated the exhibition _Evolution of an Art: Concepts in Stained Glass Design_ at the Barron Arts Center, which ran from 1986-1989. Cook was the four-time recipient of the Freedoms Foundation George Washington Medal for his work in stained glass photography. He was the photographic consultant to the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA), and the Census of Stained Glass Windows in America. He published photographic studies on several subjects. Cook's photographs have been used in a variety of contexts and formats, including publications, a Hallmark greeting card, and the personal Christmas cards of Cardinal Terence Cooke and Cardinal John O'Connor. Cook provided the photographs for Willene B. Clark's, _The Stained Glass Art of William Jay Bolton_, a subject book on Bolton commissions and history, published in 1992.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Leland A. Cook Papers

Identifier: MS-0206
Scope and Contents

This collection documents the rich and varied career, Leland A. Cook, former advertising photographer for Tiffany and Company.

This collection consists of five series:

(1) Tiffany and Company Working Files, 1958-1999

(2) Bolton Family Research Files, 1820-1970

(3) Correspondence and Subject Files, 1904-1998

(4) Photographs, 1960-1990

(5) Personal Papers, 1915-2009

Dates: 1820-2009; Majority of material found within 1950-1980