Biggs Museum of American Art
Charles Parks: Small Works
September 27 - November 26, 2000
Delaware sculptor Charles Parks (b. 1922) is well known for his monumental works for outdoor display and large commemorative portraits. Many Delaware residents are familiar with The Student at the Newark Public Library, Vietnam from the Vietnam War Memorial of New Castle County, and Boy with Hawk of the Brandywine River Museum . A smaller bronze sculpture by Parks, Male Torso, is displayed in Gallery 13 of the Museum. Based on a life study that Parks completed in his last year at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts , it was purchased by Mr. Biggs from the artist in 1978. Parks described it in a letter to Mr. Biggs as "...unique in the sense that it is the only one that I did completely. It also is the only one that has the rich red-brown patina which I spent many days applying." Charles Parks: Small Works will feature a selection of smaller works as well as replicas of some of the larger pieces. The exhibition will also include an explanation of his working methods.
The artist's work can be divided into several categories: portrait busts and figures, liturgical figures, and animals. Examples from each of these groups will be included in the exhibition. One small sculpture shows Delaware frame maker Frank Coll (1885-1969) playing an accordion. Parks's skill at depicting animals is evident in a sculpture of a horse, Morgan, and an octopus, Octavia. Parks occasionally includes elements of a fantasy world in his compositions. A replica of Nymph of the Christina, a sculpture presented to King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Swedes landing at Fort Christina, Delaware, illustrates the point. (left: Accordian Player, 1952, polyester, 10 inches high, Courtesy of the artist)
Born in Virginia, Charles Parks moved to Delaware as a young boy and considers himself a Wilmingtonian. Parks was educated at the University of Delaware and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He continues to work in his Bancroft Mills studio on the Brandywine in Wilmington.
On October 11 at 7:30 PM a video biography, "Charles Parks: Working Artist," will be featured as well as a video about creating sculpture. Members will receive an invitation to the opening reception September 27.
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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/23/11
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