Cooke was born in Knutsford, to an English father and an American mother, and spent part of his childhood in Jamaica and Bermuda, before moving to the U.S. in 1947, where he studied art history at Harvard University. He moved to Ireland in 1954, and in 1955 went to Salzburg to study under Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka. His work is represented in such collections as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Ulster Museum, the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Haags Gemeentemuseum (The Hague), and other public and private collections worldwide.
- Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
- The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
- Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Birmingham
- Dublin City University: Couple 2
- Aidan Dunne. "Abstract expressionist artist Barrie Cooke dies in Co Carlow - Art News". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- Barrie Cooke. Association L.A.C. 1995. p. 23. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- Ireland, National Gallery of; Croke, Fionnuala (1988). National Gallery of Ireland: acquisitions, 1986-88. The Gallery. ISBN 9780903162470.
- The Kerlin Gallery Archived March 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.; accessed 11 March 2014.
- Aosdána biographical note, artscouncil.ie; accessed 11 March 2014.