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Historical Society Brings Mendon Artist’s Work to Light

The sons of Doris Daniels Cox from the left Carleton, Dan, and Jesse hold family portraits painted by their mother.

Mendon residents and others came out in droves to hear the story of one of their own. Mendon's Historical Society sponsored a presentation on Mendon resident and artist Doris Daniels Cox. The June 10 evening event took place at the Unitarian Church. Historical Society member Kathy Schofield, who has a degree in Art History, put together the presentation titled Exploring the Life and Works of Artist Doris Daniels Cox, which looked at her life and contributions in art.

Daniels Cox was born in Somerville in 1914 to Lester and Vestella Daniels. Her painting talent began to emerge at a very young age and her parents wanted to encourage her love of painting and drawing. She studied at the Scott Carbee School of Art in Cambridge and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts School in the 1930s. Eventually, she became a member of The Copley Society in Boston and a founder of the Blackstone Valley Art Association.

Her connection to Mendon began when parents purchased a cottage in town on George St. where she and her family spent their summer days. Eventually she married Nathaniel Daniels and the two built their home, also on George St., and raised their four sons, Norman, Jesse, Carleton, and Daniel.

Throughout her years in Mendon, Daniels Cox painted beautiful portraits of her family, her friends, and their children. She also painted landscapes and animals. "I think it's quite remarkable the detail she could include in a portrait; they're almost lifelike," said Schofield during the presentation. Her artwork also included magazine illustrations and sketches.

Many of Daniels Cox's painting were brought in for the presentation to be viewed by attendees. "So many people came up to me and said they had her paintings and wanted to bring them in for this," said Schofield. Today her art continues to adorn various establishments in Massachusetts. Daniels Cox passed away in 1971.

What made the evening even more special was that three of her sons attended the event. Son Carleton, who resides in Pennsylvania, said for some time he has been trying to think of a way to honor his mother and her artistry as the anniversary of her 100th birthday was approaching. "I just couldn't figure out what to do, and then Kathy contacted me about doing this. It's a dream come true," he said.

After the presentation, a reception was held for the attendees.


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