Lawton Parker

Lawton Parker was born in Fairfield, Michigan, and grew up in Kearney, Nebraska. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before traveling to Paris in 1889, where he enrolled in the Julian Academy. After a short time, Parker returned to the U.S. and entered the Art Students League of New York under the tutelage of William Merritt Chase and H. Siddons Mowbray. Parker would return to Paris where he was ultimately accepted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the 1913 Paris Salon, he won the first gold medal awarded to an American for a figurative painting. Active in Chicago for many years, Parker became a highly regarded teacher and administrator, as well as a painter and a remarkable draftsman. He served as a non-resident professor at the School of the Art Institute and as president of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Parker finally retired to California in the 1940s.

No doubt one of the most purely impressionist works in the Marshall Collection, this small, colorful image vibrates, as bright light seems to permeate every organic surface. Greens, pinks, lavenders and various blues are simply spots of color achieved as Monet instructed, considering more the effect for the whole, as each stroke was laid alongside another. The influence of Monet’s Giverny spirit is strongly felt here as Parker lined up a few wispy trees to veil slightly the bright body of water in the middleground.

Courtesy of R.H. Love Gallery, Peoria, Illinois