Harold Parker


Harold Parker, ‘Ariadne’ exhibited 1908
Ariadne exhibited 1908
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Harold Parker (27 August 1873 – 23 April 1962) was a British-born sculptor, raised in Australia and subsequently working in the UK.

His family moved to Brisbane, Australia in 1876 He studied at the Brisbane Technical College under John A Clarke and Godfrey Rivers, then in 1896 left for London where he studied under William Silver Frith, then worked as assistant to Thomas Brock, Hamo Thornycroft and Goscombe John.

He rented a studio near that of fellow sculptor John Tweed, and from 1903 to 1929 regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and occasionally at the Old Salon, Paris. He was commissioned to portray Queensland expatriates and became a rival of Bertram Mackennal. In 1906 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. The triumph of his career came in 1908 when for £1000 the Chantrey Bequest purchased his 'Ariadne' for the Tate Gallery. In 1910 his 'Prometheus Bound' received a 'mention' at the Salon.

In 1911 the newly married Harold Parker visited Brisbane and was received enthusiastically, but apart from his First Breath of Spring to the Queensland National Art Gallery, sold none of his work. Back in London he received a major commission, a group of figures outside Australia House.

In 1930 he and his wife settled in Brisbane where, overlooked for major commissions, he withdrew from public life, virtually abandoning sculpture for painting. He was a founding member of the Australian Academy of Art in 1937

In 1993 a retrospective of his work entitled Harold Parker, Sculptor, was held at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. Artworks by Harold Parker are on display at the Queensland Art Gallery.

A 1907? portrait by James Peter Quinn hangs in the National Library of Australia.

Parker died in 1962 and was buried in South Brisbane Cemetery.

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