Elizabeth Parker Anderson (1893-1975)
Elizabeth Ashton Parker Anderson, professionally known as Elizabeth Parker, was an accomplished painter and advocate for the arts, living and working in Springs in the 1950s. Library Paintings is a selection of works recently recovered from the attic of the Springs Library. Parker donated these objects to the Town of East Hampton, along with her home, the 168-year-old Ambrose Parsons House on Old Stone Highway. The house has served the community ever since.
Elizabeth Parker exhibited her work widely during her lifetime, both locally and abroad. She attended Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, the Art Students League in New York City, and studied under Hans Hoffman in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She designed sets and costumes for the New York Theater Guild and served as President of the Springs Improvement Society, in addition to being a long term member of the Art Committee of Ashawagh Hall. Her work is in the collections of both Guild Hall and The Parrish Art Museum.
In 1957, John Little, whose beautifully restored barn/studio houses this exhibition, solicited Parker along with Alfonso Ossorio to open the first commercial gallery in East Hampton. Signa Gallery, then located at 53 Main Street (where Firestone Gallery now resides), operated for three years, displaying works by well-known locals like Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, but also artists such as Agnes Martin and Philip Guston. In response to Parker’s work, John Little writes “This work is characterized by opposing vibrant color, the form being synonymous with color, form growing out of the color with a totality of light.”
On the occasion of Parker’s Memorial Exhibition in 1976, artist Alfonso Ossorio reflects; “Elizabeth Parker devoted her life to her art and to a constructive involvement with other people. Especially those in her chosen field of work. Quietly, unobtrusively, undemandingly, she persevered in developing her painting into a body of work filled with gaiety and a sense of the contrasts, calms and tensions of life. She was singularly modest about what she created, so much so that even her friends may well be surprised and delighted with the variety and richness of this exhibition. And for this joyful accomplishment we thank her.”
The Arts Center at Duck Creek develops and operates programming at the East Hampton Town-owned historic Duck Creek Farm for the benefit of the local community. Our mission is to honor the spirit of artist John Little, whose 19th century barn/studio was a meeting place for artists in the ‘50s and beyond. The Arts Center at Duck Creek, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation licensed by the Town of East Hampton.