Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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John Frederick Delisle Parker
(Palette)

1884 - September 28 1962

Federation of Canadian Artists (Founding Member 1941)
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (Member 1941 Executive 1946-47)

J. Delisle Parker was born in New York City, and moved to England with his family at the age of nine. He was brought up near Stratford-on-Avon, where his father was American Consul in Birmingham and London. Parker was interested in theatre, and also studied art at the Croydon Art School. He studied art in Paris for five years in a number of schools including the Sorbonne and the Academie Julien, notably under Jean-Paul Laurens. He also studied in New York under Robert Henri.

He wrote for the McGill News between 1931 and 1934, also illustrating his articles, before moving to Vancouver in 1934. That year in October he had a solo exhibition of Oils, Watercolours, and Drawings at the Vancouver Art Gallery, with a catalogue of works available. The show was well received by the press.

From 1940 to 1959 Parker wrote an arts column for the Vancouver Province under the pseudonym of Palette.

He had more solo exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1938, 1943, and 1951, as well as work in small group shows in 1938 and 1939. Lawren Harris wrote an introduction to Parker's 1951 exhibition catalogue, lauding Parker's work and referring to him as "a poet in paint", in addition to recommending that the public invest in Parker's work.

Parker also exhibited in the 1944 and 1945 British Columbia At Work exhibitions; the 1947 B.C. Artists' summer exhibition; and the juried 1948 17th Annual B.C. Artists exhibition, all held at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

He was on a list titled "Leading Vancouver Artists," provided to the Labour Arts Guild on April 10, 1946 by the Vancouver Art Gallery to assist in the Guild's call for entries to the second annual B.C. At Work exhibition.

He also exhibited with the B.C. Society of Fine Arts in their annual exhibitions in 1942, 1943, and 1949.

He submitted three ink drawings and a drypoint to the 1949 B.C. Graphic exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, only the drypoint was selected for the exhibition.

He signed his early artwork John Parker, then John F. Parker, and then finally J. Delisle Parker.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1934 October 19 - 28 Paintings & Drawings (80 artworks) VAG
1938 March 8 - 20 Oil Paintings (29 paintings) VAG
1938 July 12 - 27 Six Local Artists (5 artworks) VAG
1939 July 4 - 23 Six Local Artists (5 artworks) VAG
1943 Jan. 29 - Feb. 18 Tunisian Sketches VAG
1951 April 3 - 22 Oils and Watercolors (43 paintings) VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 6th Annual Grain Elevator
1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9 VAG   B.C. Artists 7th Annual Pine Street
Waterfront, Vancouver
1940 Sept. 20 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 9th Annual Tunisia
Beyond Lytton
1941 May 10 - June 1 BCSFA   31st Annual Quartier Latin
1942 May 15 - 31 BCSFA   32nd Annual Sunday in the Park
1942 July 7 - Sept. 2 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Summer Sunday in the Park
1942 Nov. 3 - 15 FCA   Red Cross Benefit (no information available)
1943 May 15 - June 6 BCSFA   33rd Annual Outside Walls of Sfax
The Plum Tree
Fraser Canyon
Indian Reservation, North Vancouver
Liner in Port
1943 July 2 - Aug. 25 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Summer Fraser Canyon
Liner in Port
1943 Sept. 25 - Oct. 20 VAG   B.C. Artists 12th Annual Haida Legend: Chief Edensaw's (sic) Canoe
B.C. Legend - Early Chinese Explorers
1944 May 13 - June 4 BCSFA   34th Annual The Bathers
B.C. Legend - Drake Sees the Olympics
Forbidden Plateau
Tree Rhythms
1944 July 4 - Aug. 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Summer B.C. Legend
1944 Sept. 23 - Oct. 22 VAG   B.C. Artists 13th Annual The Philosopher
Paris '43
Luxembourg Gardens, Paris
1944 Nov. 21 - Dec. 10 Labour Arts Guild   1st B.C. At Work Track Gang
1945 May 18 - June 10 BCSFA   35th Annual In Memorium
1945 July 3 - Aug. 26 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Summer The Philosopher
In Memorium
1945 Sept. 22 - Oct. 21 VAG   B.C. Artists 14th Annual Off Shanghai
Kowloon, China
1945 Nov. 13 - Dec. 2 Labour Arts Guild   2nd B.C. At Work Landing Fish
1946 May 31 - June 23 BCSFA   36th Annual Haida Raiders
Return from Agincourt
Seven Sisters
1946 July 2 - 28 VAG   Jubilee Exhibition The City
1946 Sept. 21 - Oct. 13 VAG   B.C. Artists 15th Annual The Old Carr House, Victoria
Ritual Mask Dance, B.C. Indians
1947 May 9 - June 1 BCSFA   37th Annual Emily Carr's Last Studio
Land of Hope and Glory
Towers of Islam
1947 July 8 - 27 VAG   B.C. Artists Summer Exhibition Land of Hope and Glory
The Old Carr House
1947 Sept. 20 - Oct. 12 VAG   B.C. Artists 16th Annual Early Morning, Tunisia
1948 May 18 -June 6 BCSFA   38th Annual The Barrier
Fraser Canyon
Burrard Bridge, Winter
1948 Sept. 18 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 17th Annual The Canyon
On the Thompson River
1949 May 3 - 22 BCSFA   39th Annual Rockbound
Rock Forms
Evening Surf, Barrier No. 2
On the Thompson River
Gateway to the Canyon
1949 Oct. 8 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 18th Annual Rock Forms and Night Sea
Land of the Skyblue Water
1949 Nov. 22 - Dec. 11 VAG   First B.C. Graphic Towers of Notre Dame (rejected)
Tranquil Cove (rejected)
Storm King (rejected)
The Prophet
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Forbidden Plateau
Grain Elevator Forms

References

SOUVENIR CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITIONS OPENING THE NEW VANCOUVER ART GALLERY (refer to VAG51)

100 YEARS OF B.C. ART (refer to VAG58)

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS -
SPRING EXHIBITIONS 1880 - 1970
(refer to MM88)

A DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN ARTISTS (refer to M)

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      7 references cited for Parker.

VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY - B.C. ARTISTS FILES (refer to VPL)

Clippings

"French Honour Artist's Work. John Deslisle Parker, Well Known Here, Showing in Paris Exhibition"
      The Daily Colonist, Victoria B.C., August 15, 1931

"Former Local Artist Coming. John D. Parker, Eminent Painter, Arrives From Paris"
      The Times, Victoria B.C., April 26, 1934

"Artist to Give One-Man Show"
      The Daily Colonist, Victoria B.C., October 11, 1934

"A Gentleman Adventurer" by Edgar Brown
      (newspaper unknown), October 18 1934

"Clever Artist Has Fine Exhibit Displayed Here" by T.H.W.
      News-Herald, October 23 1934

"Fine Display of Paintings by J. Parker" by (unknown)
      Daily Province, October 24 1934

"Delisle Parker Show at Gallery" by (unknown)
      News-Herald, March 1938

"Well-known Vancouver artists recently elected (BCSFA) members include ... J. Delisle Parker ..."
      From "B.C. Artists' Display To Calgary For Exhibition," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, May-June 1942

" ... Among those contibuting paintings and drawings are: ... John Delisle Parker ... "
      From "Noted Artists Offer Paintings For Red Cross"
      Vancouver Daily Province (presumed), November 1942

"Following his trend in legendary subjects J. Delisle Parker is showing a large vertical panel called "Drake sees the Olympics" ... "
      From "Notable Exhibits of Artists' Work" by Mildred Valley Thornton
      Vancouver Sun (presumed), May 1944

" ... Gazing at J.W.G. Macdonald's painting ... are: ... John Delisle Parker ... "
      From "For and about WOMEN"
      Vancouver Daily Province, April 22, 1950

" 'Palette' Exhibit - Paintings Capture Life of Far-Away Places"
      Daily Province, Vancouver, B.C., August 26, 1953

"Genuine Romanticism in Parker's Work" by The Critic
      (newspaper unknown), (date unknown)


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