Skip to content
Robert Andrew Parker
“I was so lucky... My first show at the Roko Gallery in New York was a great success. It was 1954. During the show, a woman came in who was the art director for "Seventeen”—Cipe Pineles—and asked me to do an illustration for her magazine. I instantly said yes.”
Download Interview PDF

This oral history is an amalgamation of two interviews conducted with artist and illustrator, Robert Andrew Parker, in his West Cornwall, CT studio. A’Dora Phillips and Brian Schumacher conducted the first interview in August 2014 and the second in July 2015.


Among other things, Robert Andrew Parker discusses:

  • Deciding to become an artist when he was a child and drew all day while recovering from tuberculosis
  • Because his father worked in the service as a dentist, growing up in different parts of the country, including New Mexico, Seattle, and Chicago
  • His art training & early career, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Atelier 17, and his big break playing Van Gogh’s hands in the film biopic, Lust for Life
  • His vision loss, beginning in 2000, due to macular degeneration
  • A series of sculptures he was working on at the time he was interviewed, which he called “Memory Gardens”
  • His long career as a magazine and children’s book illustrator
  • His studio practices

Leave a Comment

“[There] are two kinds of disturbances of the eyes, stemming from two sources – when they have been transferred from light to darkness and when they have been transferred from darkness to light.”
Unknown