Untitled Document

Artist Biography

Lawton Parker attended the most esteemed art schools, including the Chicago Art Institute, the Academie Julian in Paris with William Bouguereau and James Whistler, the Art Students League in New York with William Merritt Chase, and finally the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Jean Leon Gerome. He was one of the American artists that lived near Claude Monet’s residence in Giverny. Parker arrived at Giverny in 1902, and became close with the famous Frederick Frieseke, along with Edmund Greacen, Guy Rose, and Richard Miller. With the influences of Monet and this group of artists, Parker turned from academic portraiture to figural and landscape painting. Referred to as the “Giverny Group” or “Giverny Luminists” after an exhibition of their work at the Madison Art Gallery in New York, they pleased American patrons with soft, pleasant garden or domestic scenes rendered in dappled Impressionist brushstrokes.

Parker was known for his softly-lit landscapes, often with figures of seated women. His work was well-received, and in 1913 he was awarded the first ever medal of the Society of French Artists. This idyllic phase was broken when he was imprisoned in a Nazi war camp for two years; however he made a daring escape and spent the rest of his days far from his former life in France, in Pasadena, California. Unfortunately, a large portion of his work was destroyed when the Nazis stormed through Giverny.

Works by this artist can be found in collections such as those at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; the National Academy of Design Museum, New York, NY; and the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE. The number of his remaining works is limited, however, due to the destruction of many paintings at his Giverny home during the Nazi occupation in World War II. Parker himself was detained in Paris for two years until he escaped, in disguise. He spent his final years in Pasadena, California.