Agnes Miller Parker1895 - 1980
Born: 1895, Ayrshire, Scotland
Agnes Miller Parker was born in 1895 in Ayrshire, Scotland, and was educated at the Glasgow School of Art. She dedicated her career to book illustration and printmaking, becoming one of Great Britain's foremost wood engravers. Although she was extremely prolific, little information about her personal life and accomplishments has been remembered into contemporary time.
Parker married a fellow student from Glasgow, William McCance (Scottish, 1894-1970), in 1918. Following this, she spent time teaching in London during the 1920s before going to work at the independent Gregynog Press in the early 1930s with McCance and her former instructors Gertrude Hermes and Blair Hughes-Stanton.
In the later 1930s, Parker separated from the Gregynog Press and produced some of her best work. Illustrations for an edition of Thomas Gray's poem, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," gained critical acclaim. From her home on the Scottish Isle of Arran, where she moved after World War II and lived for the rest of her life, Parker also illustrated editions of the Thomas Hardy novels, Tess of the Durbervilles, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Jude the Obscure, among others, in the 1950s and '60s.
Many of Parker's personal papers, including sketches and proofs for illustrations, circa 1913-1972, are held today by the Manuscripts Division of the National Library of Scotland; her sketchbooks prove her affinity for animals, birds, and aquatic life.