Blencowe Families' Association Newsletter Volume 2 Number 1 Winter 1987


Regina was born in Corsicana, TX, and raised in Dalhart TX, where she graduated in 1920 as salutatorian of her class. Her father, Judge Reese Tatum sent his daughter back to his birthplace in Tennessee where she attended Ward- Belmont, a fine finishing school for gracious young ladies. She then studied under Swedish artist Birger Sandzen at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Before graduation from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Cooke studied art at the Broadmoor Art Academy.

She married on 26 Dec 1925 and lived in Denver CO from 1925 to 1932. She was divorced in 1930.

She decided to return to Taos. As a girl, Regina and her father had spent a vacation in Taos. (Her mother, Frances Hunter Tatum, a painter, had died when Regina was very young.) They had traveled by car over the crude roads and enjoyed the village before there were many tourist facilities. The family was art- minded and sought out the resident artists in their home-studios.

Regina Tatum Cooke arrived in Taos in 1933 with her six-year-old son, her talents for painting and writing, and plucky determination.

During the early '40s, Cooke painted, a series of oil paintings of historical missions in New Mexico as they had once been. She taught art in the extension program of the the University of New Mexico and in the public schools in Palm Springs and Los Angeles in the 1940's. REGINA BLINCOE HUNTER FRANCIS BLINCOE HUNTER Grandmother to Regina Cooke Mother to Regina Cooke .

Regina was Arts and Society Editor for the Taos newspaper for 23 years prior to retiring in 1971. Cooke's later career has been spent as an award-winning journalist. Her articles about the artists of Taos form a long, engaging record stretching back to 1948 and her first job on the Taos Star.

Regina has received more than 100 awards in the New Mexico Press Women's Writing Competitions and was honored in 1969 as the group's Woman of Achievement. She is recognized in the Dictionary of International Biography, the World Who of Women, and the American Biographical Institute in its International Book of Honor, 1985.

"Art is what put Taos on the map," she has said.

She continues as recorder of the arts for the Taos News and also sends out a monthly column to an art magazine. Many other artists owe their fame to the discerning words Regina Tatum Cooke has penned.

Regina has one son: Reese B. V. Cooke (b. 13 Nov 1926), a professional pilot.

Grandchildren: Deborah Denise Cooke, Seattle, WA; Stephen Cooke, Tuscon, AZ; and Scott Cooke, Victoria, TX. A grandson, Alan, was killed in an avalanche while skiing near Taos in November, 1981. Her sister, Mrs C.E. Harpster lives in Laguna Hills, CA.



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updated: 26 January 2003