Reaugh protege Lucretia Donnell Coke dies

Photo of Lucretia Donnell Coke courtesy of the University of North Texas
Photo of Lucretia Donnell Coke courtesy of the University of North Texas

Oak Cliff-raised artist Lucretia Donnell Coke, who was a protege of pastel master Frank Reaugh, died last week at her daughter’s Austin home. She was 99.

Coke’s mother, Lucretia Ayres Donnell, was a porcelain painter who took art lessons from Reaugh. The artist discovered little Lucretia’s natural talent when she was drawing on the floor of his Oak Cliff studio one day during her mother’s lesson.

A pastel landscape by Lucretia Donnell Coke
A pastel landscape by Lucretia Donnell Coke

Coke and her mother and brother traveled many times to wild West Texas with Reaugh on his legendary en plein air painting trips. Reaugh took Coke under his wing, and eventually she became an instructor on these trips.

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Her obituary states: “For ten summers, Lucretia painted in this very rigorous and disciplined program, painting four to five outdoor sketches each day in plain old Texas air along with fellow sketchers…”

Near the end of Reaugh’s life, she wrote out in longhand his life story, as he told it to her.

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She graduated from Sunset High School and Southern Methodist University, and she worked as an artist for most of her life. Find her full obituary here.

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