Friday, May 27, 2011

Walter Parke

Walter Parke, "Janice on Brownie"

Sheila Wolfson studied with Walter Parke
at the Palette and Chisel
back in the 1970's,
and she has just sent us
some photos from that class
as well as from her collection
of Parke's prints and paintings.

(she also notes that when she visited his home
it was packed with stacks of paintings
and she wonders where they all went.
Anyone with more images to share
would be much appreciated!)

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1909, Walter Parke studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and with Wellington J. Reynolds (1869-1949).

He began teaching at the Palette and Chisel in 1966, and was a member of the Brown County Art Guild, Municipal Art League, and the Oak Park Art League.

According to Sheila:

There is a Parke at the Union League Club, but I’ve never been able to find it. And the actor Vincent Price had collected many of his paintings. I don’t know if they were for his personal collection or for the Sears thing he was involved in.

Many years ago I went to the Cuneo Museum and Gardens in Vernon Hills, and was thrilled to see 3 or 4 huge portraits on the walls by Walter Parke. (His portraits were extraordinary!!!) The next time I saw him I mentioned them, and he told me that in his youth he had lived in a groundskeeper/custodian shack on the grounds of the mansion for three years, while he painted numerous portraits of Cuneo family members. After he died I happened to back there again, and there was only one portrait hanging, of Mrs. Cuneo’s sister, who had lived at the mansion with them for many years. The curator at the time didn’t know what happened to the others.

"This is a mural he painted somewhere in a capitol building, I believe. He only had a small snapshot of it, and I took it and had some enlargements made for him, and kept one for myself, but I see the color has faded badly."

Student in Saturday class: “Walter! Don’t work on my drawing…I want to be able to say I did it.”

Walter Parke: “Well, be sure to tell them you did it wrong.”

These are some other images
I found on the internet

And here's some pulp fiction
he illustrated in 1946

The above was sent to us
by a print collector
who specializes in the Alamo

Here are some more pieces sent from another former student.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Exhibit: Ruth Van Sickle Ford

Two blocks south of Seidel's sculpture
on the New York Street Bridge,
is the Aurora Public Art Commission gallery
which features another Palette and Chisel member,
Ruth Van Sickle Ford (1897-1989)
through Aug. 12

(Here's the review I wrote for Newcity )

This exhibit commemorates
the publication of the above biography
"Warm Light, Cool Shadows"
by Nancy Smith Hopp.

In addition to about 30 paintings,
this exhibit also has a display
of memorabilia,
including the above photo
of Ruth teaching.

and a view inside her famous "Round House"
designed by Bruce Goff

Here's an aerial view
lifted from Google Maps.

This painting is called "The Mask",
and I think it's a self portrait.
(but that's only my guess)