Bachelor, Humbold University, 1948. Bachelor in social science, Georgia State College for Women, 1949. Grad studies, New School for Society Research.
Staff member Buck's Rock Work Camp, New Milford, Connecticut, 1949—1950, 1971—1972. Staff member, co-director Shaker Village Work Group, New Lebanon, New York, 1951—1970. Photographer Self-Employed, 1970—1985.
Art dealer, director Village Gallery, Croton-on-Hudson, New York, 1973—1974. Owner, director Cornelia Cotton Gallery, since 1978. Writer Self-Employed, since 1984.
Lecturer in field, since 1970. Director Village Gallery, 1972—1973. Private dealer, Croton, 1973—1978.
Director Silo Gallery, Croton, 1978—1980. Lecturer in field.; organizer of the annual exhibition of photographers of Northern Westchester, 1977—2001. Curator of several museum exhibitions.
Member Croton Housing Task Force, 1987—1989. Art advisory Croton Council on the Arts, since 1990. Founder, board member Croton Housing Network, since 1989.
Board member Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, Dobbs Ferry, New York, since 1989. Founder, board member Croton Council on the Arts, since 1974. Member of Proust Society of America.
Married William Cotton, October 8, 1949 (deceased July 1992). Children: Amy, Eve, Margaret.