Ed Parker


Ed Parker Biography

American, b. 1941

Ed Parker is one of America’s leading painters working in the whimsical folk art tradition. Far from a simple Folk Artist, Ed Parker holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA for Painting and Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Atlanta Journal has called him “Grant Wood with a Yankee Sense of Humor.”
For the past 30 years Parker’s unique paintings have appeared in many publications including Yankee Offshore and Country Home magazines, The Washington Post newspaper, and in promotional materials for the National Football League, PBS and National Public Radio.  Parker’s art combines real and imagined historic events, people and places with a sense of humor, elegant design, and sophisticated color sense, to create paintings with a special charm all their own. The artist says: “I am heavily influenced by the maritime tradition of folk tales, yarns and stories, and the Yankee humor that is often in those stories, while most marine artists tend to capture a moment of a story or event - it may be real, it may just be plausible enough to be real. It’s really visual story telling.”
Ed is a Signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards including recognition from the Advertising Clubs of Boston and New York, the Art Directors Club of New York and the Society of Illustrators, New York. He was elected to the Society of Illustrators in 1986. Music is an important part of Ed's artistic muse, and when not painting he is usually playing folk guitar and singing traditional songs, the lyrics of which often find their way into his paintings, completing a circle of folk inspired American traditions. He served as Art Director of Boston Magazine and several Boston advertising agencies. His teaching experience includes design and illustration positions at Massachusetts College of Art, The Art Institute of Boston, Montserrat College of Art and Salem State College. In addition, he has guest lectured and conducted seminars on illustration at the collegiate and secondary level.
Ed Parker's work has been exhibited in Museums throughout the United States including: Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture, Delray Beach, Florida; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama; Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, Texas; Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas; Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas; The Haggin Museum, Stockton, California; Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon; Minnesota Museum of Marine Art, Winona, Minnesota; The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT; The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA; Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY; Mt. Vernon Museum, Mt. Vernon, Virginia. In 2014 a collection of his work was shown at the Union League Club Gallery in NYC. His paintings have also been included in the American Society of Marine Artists National touring Exhibitions. He is represented by Gleason Fine Art, The J.Russell Jinishian Gallery and the Cavalier Gallery.

1969, M.F.A. Illustration, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
1968, B.F.A.Graphic Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA

Apr 2004, Annual Exhibition, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA
Mar-Apr, 2002, Masterworks, Gallery One, Mentor, OH
Jan-Feb, 2002, Prevailing Human Spirit, Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY
Mar-Jun, 1999, Made in Massachusetts, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA
Dec 1997, Moonstruck Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
Nov 1997, Wenaha Gallery, Dayton, WA
1997, Wenatchee Gallery, Wenatchee, WA
1986, Society of Illustrators, New York, NY
Award of Distinctive Merit, Society of Illustrators, (1986, 1990, 1991 & 2001)
Awards of Achievement in Illustration and Art Direction from the Advertising Club of New York; New York Art Directors’ Club; and Advertising Club of Boston
1999-2017, Instructor of Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art
1995-2017, Teaching Fellowship, Rochester Institute of Technology
1999, Adjunct Faculty, Salem State College, Department of Fine Arts
1997-99, Adjunct Faculty for 3D Design & Illustration, Montserrat College of Art
1976-79, Lecturer on graphic design for College-Level Coursers
1972-73, Instructor of Illustration, Art Institute of Boston
1969-71, Illustrator and Lecturer for Elementary and Secondary Schools
1968-69, Illustration Program within Department of Graphic Arts
Creative Consultant, Elm Square Interactive (1974-Present)
Artist for The Greenwich Workshop (1972-1974)
Art Director, Provandie & Chirurg and Larcom Randal
Art Director, Boston Magazine

May 1996, Paint Works
Mar 1996, U.S. Art
1994, Country Home Magazine
Illustrated eight children’s books including: Three Billy Goats Gruff and Jack and the Beanstalk for Troll Publications, Jack Rabbit Goalie for Little Brown, and Giants, Elves and Scary Monsters for Simon and Schuster.
Illustrations have appeared in professional publications, including:  Print, Graphic Design USA, Art Direction Magazine, Ad Week, Illustrators Annual and Illustrators Showcase.