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F. M. COOVER The art of the young artist Charles Hartley Coover.

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1 F. M. COOVER The art of the young artist Charles Hartley Coover

2 Charles Hartley Coover born 1887 Charles Hartley Coover was born in 1887 in Remington, Indiana. At the age of only 9, young Coover had already shown a fond interest in art. The earliest work we have found was done at that age. His talent was evident even then. By his age of 10, the youngster was exhibiting professional qualities in his pen and ink drawings.

3 Charles’ Father Charles’ father, Marion C. Coover, was also talented as an artist. Willie Elmer was Charles’ older brother. For his first birthday, M. C. Coover designed a large birthday card for his firstborn son. It was embellished with ornate pen and ink designs that bordered a sepia-toned photo.

4 This beautiful rendering of a child with pen and ink is in a collection in Paris, France.

5 F. M. Coover Young Charles signed all of art as F. M. Coover instead of Charles Coover. No one knows why he chose that name. At eleven years of age, he attended the Northern Illinois College of Pen and Ink Drawing. He excelled in that demanding medium, soon advertising designing signs and ads. In the slides following, there are many examples of these designs.

6 Microbes In Beer




10 Fantastic

11 Caricatures Young Coover was fascinated with caricature drawing, which was quite the trend in newspapers and magazines of the time. The next slides illustrate some of his fine caricature drawings. The largest of these was done when Coover was 16 and staying in Florida, perhaps being treated for tuberculosis there.




15 Chicago Young Coover left us many drawings that had been done while he was in Chicago. Most were dated 1899. Charles was 12 years of age at that time. Someone familiar with Chicago may recognize one of his subjects or landmarks.

16 Building a Bridge

17 Construction

18 A Trial

19 His love of drawing Coover often had no good paper on which to Sketch. He used whatever he could find wherever he happened to be. Thin writing paper, the backs of business stationery and even envelopes were used. Three colored studies of men were drawn on small envelopes while the youngster was in Chicago.




23 Figures / Portraits Charles (F. M. Coover) seemed to have hoped to be an illustrator judging from much of his art we have found. Some are paintings, some are of famous persons, and some may have been of people he knew or admired.











34 Military heroes General Lawton

35 General Meade


37 More portraits


39 Illustrations



42 Less than seventy –There are less than seventy known drawings and paintings by F. M. Coover. There may be more discovered someday. All that we know of were done between his ages of 9 years and 17 years. All of the art is quite good, but to have been done by one so young, they are amazing. –We do not know if Coover created art after the age of 16.

43 We do know that because of the tuberculosis, Coover was exempt from military service. We know he married and moved to El Paso, Texas, where he worked for The El Paso Times newspaper for years. He and his wife reared ten children.

44 The demand for the art of F. M. Coover has increased significantly since his art was first discovered, but the supply has not. He is listed on many art sites now and his work is in several collections. Three of his paintings are archived in the Smithsonian Institute. Hopefully more of Coover’s art will be found.

45 CREDITS Special thanks to: Steven D. Brandlein Lois Stanger Kory Bucklew Paris Collector for the use of Coover’s art photos.



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