“Still lifes juxtapose objects to depict the comfort found in a table with food or a vase of flowers or to show the despair of the vanitas or momento mori. These images retain the formal shell of the genre, but have elements of the unexpected. Still life has sometimes been dismissed as insignificant, yet still lifes remain. I think that their persistence has to do with their proximity to the most basic concerns of human life: food, shelter, sex (with its associations of life and growth), and death. Still lifes permit endless expressive experimentation within a form that remains close to universal human experience.” - Olivia Parker

(American, b. 1943)
After graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in the history of art, Olivia Parker began her career as a painter. Parker became involved in photography in1970 and remains largely self-taught, making ephemeral constructions to photograph and experimenting with the endless possibilities of light. Her compositions incorporate her extensive knowledge of art history and literature and reference the conflicts and celebrations of contemporary life. She has had more than one hundred solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad and her work is represented in major private, corporate,and museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museum of FineArts, Boston; and the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.


Portfolios of Parker’s work have been published in Art News, American Photographer, Camera, Camera Arts, The Sciences, and other magazines in theUnited States, Europe and Japan. Parker has had three monographs of her work published: Signs of Life (Godine, 1978), Under the Looking Glass (New York GraphicSociety, 1983), and Weighing The Planets (New York Graphic Society, 1987). She has lectured and conducted workshops extensively in both the United States and abroad. In 1996, Parker received a Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award. Residencies include Dartmouth College in 1988, the MacDowell Colony in 1993 and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1997.



Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Bibliothèque National, Paris, France

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA