OLivia parker

Olivia Parker, Note Stack, 2015.jpg

 OLIVIA PARKER, Note Stack (from the series Notes and Note Stacks), 2015


Vanishing in Plain Sight

The Eye’s Mind

Signs of Life

Still and not so Still Life

Still Life

Weighing the Planets


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 in 1970 and remains largely self-taught, making ephemeral constructions to photograph and experimenting with the endless possibilities of light. 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 Fine Arts, Boston, and the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. 

In the early 1990s, after almost two decades of working with large format cameras, split-toning and Polaroid materials, Parker turned her attention to the computer, fusing her collage with the new digital era. The resulting images continue to explore real and imagined worlds. In the latest series in the show, Books, Parker photographs an Ethiopian bible, its gazelle skin pages stitched to close natural holes in the hide. Sculptural in presentation, the book takes on other meanings. As Parker states, "A closed book tempts me to open it. As it opens a book may release ideas the same way an open door releases light into a darkened room." Through her works, the viewer is invited into the shadows of Olivia Parker's imagination.

Portfolios of Parker’s work have been published in Art NewsAmerican PhotographerCameraCamera ArtsThe Sciences and other magazines in the United States, Europe and Japan. There have been three monographs of Parker's work: Signs of Life (Godine, 1978), Under the Looking Glass (New York Graphic Society, 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. Parker is currently making Still and Not So Still Lifes composed of expected and unexpected elements.

Selected Collections:

Addison Gallery of American Art

Detroit Institute of Arts

The Art Institute of Chicago

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Indiana University Art Museum

The Museum of Modern Art

Portland Art Museum, OR

Smith College Museum of Art

International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House

Fogg Museum, Harvard University

De Cordova Museum

National Museum of Australia, Canberra

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Preus Fotomuseum, Norway

The Israel Museum

The St. Louis Art Museum

Bibliotheque National, Paris

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

University of Iowa Art Museum

Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, FL

Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

University of Oklahoma Art Museum, Norman, Oklahoma

High Museum, Atlanta, GA

Bowdoin College Art Museum

Princeton University Art Museum

Davis Art Museum,Wellesley College

Milwaukee Museum of Art

California Museum of Photography, Riverside

Tokyo Fuji Art Museum

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Yale University Art Museum

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Houston Museum of Art

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The Peabody Essex Museum