Martha Cook Building

By Kathy Graneggen Moberg BA ’79

The painting of William W. Cook’s mother, Martha Wolford Cook, did not grace the Red Room when MCB opened in September 1915, but was instead one of Cook’s early gifts. Cook hired French artist Henri CaroDelvaille (1876 – 1928) the following autumn, giving him a daguerreotype from which to capture Martha’s likeness. Caro-Delvaille then traveled to Ann Arbor and personally chose the location for the painting to hang. During the visit, he bestowed this sketch which is now in UM’s Bentley Historical Library’s archives, as a prototype of what Cookies could anticipate. The finished portrait was installed in January 1917. The finished painting includes a small image on the wall next to Martha representing her husband, John Potter Cook. Caro-Delvaille also made a companion portrait of John with a small likeness of Martha which hangs in the Law Quadrangle.