Olivia Hood Parker graduated from Wellesley in 1963 with a degree in art history. Her medium of choice was painting until 1970, when she agreed to store a friend’s photography equipment with the understanding that she could use it if she liked. A self-taught artist, Parker has become one of the most celebrated still photographers of her generation.
Parker creates photographic constructions combining disparate materials—old encyclopedias, maps, flowers, broken toys—that invite the viewer to see new aspects of the familiar.
Art News described her images as, “a world of interior spaces and inner states, a realm made mysterious by poetic dislocation of image, time, and scale.” Her work is represented in corporate, private, and museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.
Parker’s images have appeared in countless exhibits and numerous art and photography publications in the United States, Europe, and Japan. She has also published several books, including Signs of Life (Godine, 1978), Under the Looking Glass (New York Graphic Society, 1983), and Weighing the Planets (New York Graphic Society, 1987).
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