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William J. Parkinson

William J. Parkinson of Salt Lake City and Hyrum, Utah was born in 1899.Parkinson was a painter that specialized in "surrealist works". He died in 1993.

Parkinson was a “graduate of the 'Depression' School" and began his formal art education as a student of A.B. Wright in 1924. But he was in the final analysis, mainly “self-taught“ from before and after that time.

Parkinson painted a mural for the McKinley School. He also had out-of-state showings at Oakland Art Museum and Hyde Park, New York (with the Index of American Design). In Utah he had a one-man show at the Salt Lake Public Library; top awards from the Utah State Fair and the Institute of Fine Arts.

Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.

William J. Parkinson of Salt Lake City and Hyrum, Utah was born in 1899 and died in 1993. He was a “graduate of the 'Depression School'“ and began his formal art education as a student of A.B. Wright in 1924. But he was in the final analysis, mainly “self-taught“ from before and after that time. One of the few artists to create what can be termed “surrealist“ works, Parkinson finally became the maker of a series of rather tight portrait paintings while pursuing the career of a self-employed artist and decorator in Salt Lake City from the late 1940s on. A brief listing of some of the many positions Parkinson held from his early twenties onward is symbolic of the hard struggle of the independent artist during the early-to-middle years of this century: “Artist, Civilian Conservation Corps, 1934; art teacher, Granite High School, Salt Lake City, 1935; artist and art teacher, WPA , 1942; engineering aid, Department of Agriculture, Salt Lake City, 1943; laborer, Benington Arms, Salt Lake City, 1945; decorator with Paul Smith, Salt Lake City, 1946.......“ Yet, finally the accrued signs of a life of dedicated work in the arts were there with an early mural for McKinley School; out-of-state showings at Oakland Art Museum and Hyde Park, New York (with the Index of American Design), and elsewhere; a one-man show at the Salt Lake Public Library; top awards from the Utah State Fair and the Institute of Fine Arts.

Biography courtesy Artists of Utah.

Books

Dawdy, Doris. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Chicago, IL: Sage Books, 1990.

Davenport, Ray. Davenport's Art Reference. Ventura, CA: Davenport's Art Reference, 2001.

Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson, ed. The Artists Bluebook: 29,000 North American Artists. Scottsdale, AZ: AskART.com, 2003.

Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.

Haseltine, James L. 100 Years of Utah Painting: Selected Works from the 1840s to the 1940s. Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake Art Center, 1965.

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Samuels, Peggy, and Harold Samuels. The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1976.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie Rogers. 150 Years Survey: Utah Art and Utah Artists. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Peregrine Smith Books, 1991.

 Last Modified 9/3/14