Nothing is known about L. M. Cooke; no signed works other than the National Gallery's Salute to General Washington in New York Harbor (1953.5.7) are recorded, and no other paintings have been attributed to him. Various stylistic aspects of the painting, such as the diminutive size of the figures beneath the canopy of the central barge and a certain stiffness in their handling, suggest that Cooke had little, if any, formal training. The assumption that he was active in 1901 comes from the recollection of a prior owner that the National Gallery's painting was clearly dated 1901. Now the second figure of the date is difficult to decipher and the remaining digits have been painted over. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]
Chotner, Deborah, with contributions by Julie Aronson, Sarah D. Cash, and Laurie Weitzenkorn. American Naive Paintings. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 77-79.